Before cheese and apple pie, one thing that comes in mind when I think of Netherlands is… windmills!!
In my childhood, I envisioned this country as wide open meadows shaded with fresh tulips and made alive by lovely windmills in the background. Like a painting, it is timeless and knowing.
Because windmills are an iconic part of the Dutch landscape, it is in my best intention to see one on our visit to Amsterdam. Unfortunately, the city is more industrialized now so most of the windmills that used to fill the city for different purposes, were now moved in the suburbs where the winds are more favorable.
But worry not! Just a short train ride outside of Amsterdam is Zaanse Schans, an outdoor museum that pays tribute to the history and culture of Netherlands that used to have ten thousands of windmills in the past. There are 8 windmills in this area and it’s a great day trip (or half day trip) from Amsterdam.
After a hearty breakfast, we left the busy Amsterdam and arrived at the sleepy town before noon. The weather is gloomy and windy but it’s a perfect setting for windmills to make a show. More than being a park, Zaanse Schans is an actual working community with pretty wooden houses, mills, craft shops and restaurants. It was a perfect Sunday atmosphere filled with families spending a weekend of picnic and special time with their kids.
How To Get Here:
From Amsterdam Central Station, board a local train to Koog-Zaandijk, the nearest railway station to Zaanse Schans. The train trip only takes about 17 minutes. Then from the station, there’s a short walk of about 15 minutes to reach the outdoor museum.
Turn left when you go down the station’s underpass. Then, you can follow the rest of the direction from the sign posts on the road. Easy peasy! There’s no way you’ll get lost. :)
Have you seen a windmill before? Where is the last day trip you’ve been to?