Sunday, July 6, 2008

Zaanse Schans

... is not something I can pronounce very well. My mispronunciation proved most unfortunate when asking for directions to get there. While saying "Zaanse Schans" with a wonderful American accent, the person I'd be speaking to would stare at me quizzically for a few seconds. As I repeated the words, the person would lean their head closer to me, concentrating on what I was trying to say. Then as realization washed over their face they'd say, "OH! Zaanse Schans!"

Zaanse Schans is a cute milling village, a little over an hour north of Amsterdam by bike and two ferries. It's not a very pretty bike ride up there, since you pass an industrial area the majority of the way, but the village and the town of Zaandijk (right next to it) are very nice. I knew it wasn't going to be very scenic getting there, since my friends N.J. and Matt had gone to Zaanse Schans by bike when they were here visiting, but seeing their pictures of the village made me realize it was well worth the ride.

As I rode into Zaandijk the smell of bread filled the air, and then as I was searching for the ferry, the smell of chocolate took the place of the bread. I ended up passing the ferry due to the hidden path to get there, and found a very cute bakery which sold THE BEST chocolate filled croissant. It satisfied the craving I received due to the smells in the air. I knew then, that although the town was one I'd love to live in, I would never allow myself to. I just wouldn't be strong enough to fight the temptation to eat bread and chocolate every minute of every day due to the wonderful smells that filled the air. I was actually quite surprised not to see anyone overweight as I rode around... what will power!
After getting pointed in the right direction, I found the ferry and finally made it into Zaanse Schans. Windmills line the water's edge, and there are a number of houses turned into museums that showed what life was like in the late 1800's. There was a wooden clock museum, an Albert Hein (grocery store) museum, clothing museum, cheese museum, wooden shoe museum, bakery museum, and the list goes on. And once again, I'm grateful for having invested in a museum card, since I was able to get into each one for free. All in all, it was a very pleasant and relaxing day trip... one I'd recommend.


Marci said...

So beautiful! Live there long enough so I can come and visit (or at least come back with me and show me around).

ReL said...

Nice. I love that you got to experience all those museums for free! That's just awesome and your pictures are absolutely beautiful.