Last Friday, I visited the Zaanse Schans which is a typisch Nederlands place. It has windmills, cheese, wooden shoes, boats, and of course water.
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.
Later, old houses were moved to the Zaanse Schans to be preserved.
Now there are museums too. I visited the Klompenmakerij and a kaasboerderij.
I took lots more pictures which you can check out here if you are interested.
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).
After Het Binnenhof, we headed downtown…
Of course we visited the Vredespaleis, though we did not get to tour the inside.
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.
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.