Monday, 18 April 2011

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans = too cute!

Our third day in Amsterdam we enjoyed another great breakfast before making our way to Centraal Station to catch the bus out of town.  Once again I cannot say enough about the people in this area and how friendly and helpful they were. We were told that our stop was the last stop on the bus so we could sit back and relax.  We did just that and enjoyed the scenery along the ride.  We were starting to wonder when we would get to our destination when another passenger came up to us and said, "This is it girls, last stop. You're here."  We looked out the window and seemed to be in the middle of nowhere - what had we gotten ourselves into?

The man on the bus pointed us in the right direction and began walking with us.  Turned out once we crossed the road and went up a small drive we were right in the parking lot, which was full of about 30 tour buses! The same ones we would have been on had we dished out the big bucks.  The man explained to us that he was working on one of the boats in the harbour and told us what we should go see.  Then we warned us that it was a big tourist stop, so we should look carefully before buying anything since most things were very over priced! 

We thanked him for his help and took our time wandering around this little village.  We crossed over the main bridge to the more local area too and just explored on our own.  Of course we had to see the cheese factory (with samples. Pesto cheese = delicious!) and also the clog museum.  Most of Holland is very marshy ground rich in peat moss and this is why clogs were originally made.  They allowed workers, and even horses, to tread on the peat without sinking in or damaging it.  Most of Amsterdam is actually built on wood pilings that were driven into the earth so that the buildings wouldn't sink into the marshy ground!


After we had our fill of this quaint village, we caught the bus back in to Amsterdam. We made sure to catch a glimpse of any last sights since we had to head to the airport shortly after breakfast the next morning.  Amsterdam is definitely a place that I would recommend people see.  It does have a reputation because of some of its liberal legislation - which might actually be changing soon as very conservative governments have been voted in the recently and have put many motions forward to restrict many of these liberal allowances that Amsterdam is known for.  That being said, once in the city you realize that these things are not actually in your face, they have to be sought out if that is your interest.  Otherwise it is a stunning city full of canals, beautiful architecture and lovely people.

Goodbye Amsterdam

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