Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Europe 2011 - Day 2 Amsterdam - Zaandam

Today was great. We went to the town of Zaandam, north of Amsterdam, but more specifically the neighborhood of Zaanse Schans. This area is a more rural region well known for having windmills located on the river Zaan. You can check out more info on the town at www.zaanseschans.nl.

We spent a little more time than usual trying to figure out how to get at Zaanse Schans because we couldn't find the bus stop to get there at Amsterdam Centraal. After a long walk and crossing the station twice, we finally found the stop and got to Zaanse Schans after a 40 minute bus ride. The great thing is, we only paid about 1.25€ for the cost of the ticket as opposed to paying 20€+ for some kind of tour bus.

The weather like yesterday has been pretty wild. Nice blue skies with light clouds, and then flashes of heavy rain, and heavy gusts of wind. We got to take lots of pictures with a variety of different traditional Dutch artisan activities such as a clog shops, cheese shops, antique shops, bakery, and a few others. The windmills and the landscape are beautiful. There are also little foot bridges and wooden architecture that create a timeless Dutch atmosphere in the area. We got to enjoy some local cuisine for lunch with Dutch pancakes or pannekoek, going with a savory ham & cheese, and trying out a dessert of strawberries and whipped cream [pannekoek aardboien met slagroom]. They weren't that delicious, but they were alright.

We were pretty tired from walking (or rather waiting for people to finish shopping), and got back to Amsterdam late in the afternoon.

For dinner, I got a chance to meet up with my friend/classmate from high school, Thomas for dinner. We tried out an Indonesian restaurant that wasn't really that good, and it was terribly expensive. Oh well, it was still good to catch up since we don't see each other that often.

Today was a great day. I'm hoping to attack/visit Droog tomorrow. =D

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