Zaanse Schans

Last Friday, I visited the Zaanse Schans which is a typisch Nederlands place. It has windmills, cheese, wooden shoes, boats, and of course water.

Zaans Schans

Originally, during the 18th and 19th century, the Zaanse Schans was an industrial area with around 600 windmills. Windmills were used more than for just milling grain. The Dutch also ground pigments for paint, oil (or extracted it rather), spices, cocoa, and even sawed wood.

Oliemolen or Oil Mill
Oliemolen or Oil Mill
De Kat is a mill that made pigments for paints.
De Kat is a mill that made pigments for paints.

De Kat

Later, old houses were moved to the Zaanse Schans to be preserved.

Oud huis
Oud huis met brug
Tuin met oude huizen
Schapen

Now there are museums too. I visited the Klompenmakerij and a kaasboerderij.

Kaasboerderij
Kaasboerderij or dairy
Klompenmakerij
Klompenmakerij: where they make wooden clogs or klompen
Klompenmaker making wooden clogs.
Klompenmaker making wooden clogs.

I took lots more pictures which you can check out here if you are interested.

Den Haag

Last month, Mike and I went to Den Haag (native English speakers will know it has The Hague). We visited many of the must-see sights although we did not go on any tours. The morning started out rainy but the weather was soon warm and sunny. Our first stop was Het Binnenhof, built around the 13th century or so. Het Binnenhof was where the Dutch parliament used to meet but now it is just a historical site (and an impressive one as you can see below).

Het Binnenhof or the Inner Court
Het Binnenhof or the Inner Court
Detail of one of the towers in Het Binnenhof. Notice the lovely goldwork.
Detail of one of the towers in Het Binnenhof. Notice the lovely goldwork.
There was is a beautiful fountain, with gold-work, in the courtyard.
There was is a beautiful fountain, with gold-work, in the courtyard.
Goldsmith lodging (I believe I am translating that correctly. Dutch, friends please let me know if I have it wrong.)
Goldsmith lodging (I believe I am translating that correctly. Dutch friends, please let me know if I have it wrong.)

After Het Binnenhof, we headed downtown…

Mike loved how the brick on this store resembled Legos.
Mike loved how the brick on this store resembled Legos.
The Gouden Hoft
‘t Goude Hooft (no significance but I thought it looked cool)
Detail of the Golden Head the restaurant is named after
Detail of the Golden Head the restaurant is named after

Of course we visited the Vredespaleis, though we did not get to tour the inside.

Vredespaleis or Peace Palace
Vredespaleis or Peace Palace
This tree outside the Vredespaleis is where people put their hopes for peace.
This tree outside the Vredespaleis is where people put their hopes for peace.

We visited the Den Haag market – which is huge (so huge and packed it was hard to get a good picture)! Half the market has clothing stalls the other half has fish, fruits, vegetables, and bread stalls. However, we were slightly saddened by its lack of fry stands. We also had lunch at a lovely little cafe (I forget the name) a short walk from the Vredespaleis.

Haarlem

Recently, I visited Haarlem which is home to the Ten Boom clock shop, Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer*, several museums, and lots of lovely architecture.

As I travel around the Netherlands, I am noticing that each train station looks different and many of them have lovely architecture and artwork. The Haarlem Station is no exception.

Art in the Haarlem Train Station
Art in the Haarlem Train Station

Stained glass window at the Haarlem Train Station
Stained glass window at the Haarlem Train Station
More art in the Haarlem Train Station
More art in the Haarlem Train Station
Third Class Waiting Room (apparently now these waiting rooms have been converted into a salsa club). Now there are only 1st and 2nd class train tickets.
Third Class Waiting Room (apparently now these waiting rooms have been converted into a salsa club). Now there are only 1st and 2nd class train tickets.

Cool Haarlem Building

I did not go inside the Ten Boom shop this visit but I plan to return in the future.

The Ten Boom Clock Shop where Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jews during WWII.
The Ten Boom Clock Shop where Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jews during WWII.

Historic Building with an apothecary head outside.
Historic Building with an apothecary head outside.
Hermes Foot statue by a canal in Haarlem
Hermes Foot statue by a canal in Haarlem
church in Haarlem
church in Haarlem

*I did visit the Frans Hals Museum exhibit on Kenau. She was a Dutch woman who fought against the Spanish in 1573.

Delft: Home of Royal Delft, Vermeer, and Burial Place of William I of Orange

My parents visited the last week in February and during their visit we went to Delft. In addition to the sites we intended to visit (Royal Delft Factory, Vermeer Center, and the tomb of William I), we encountered the local Carnaval parade.

A cool piece of art at the Delft train station.
A cool piece of art at the Delft train station.
Delft Train Station
Delft Train Station
Delft building tiles. I only recently discovered that Royal Delft made tiles for construction.
Delft building tiles. I only recently discovered that Royal Delft made tiles for construction.
More lovely Delft building tiles.
More lovely Delft building tiles.
Delft Lion tiles
Delft Lion tiles
Delft Eagle tiles
Delft Eagle tiles
Window made from Delft building tiles
Window made from Delft building tiles
This dress was created in collaboration with Delft artists and a designer to make it an original and one of a kind Delft dress.
This dress was created in collaboration with Delft artists and a designer to make it an original and one of a kind Delft dress.
Delft shoes
Delft shoes
Delft mark of authenticity
Delft mark of authenticity