Skip to main content

Zaanse Schans - Dutch history on the river Zaan

 It's been a while since my last post in March. Despite the pandemic, in May - June, when the restrictions loosened up, I started to go on short trips in Netherlands to explore the nature and iconic places, such Zaanse Schans.

You may wonder why I waited so long to visit this place. Well, I've never been a big fan of crowded places, and according to the statistics, Zaanse Schans attracts nearly a million visitors per year and it's one of the Netherlands' best loved attractions.

I seized the moment and when I visited the place it was almost deserted, for my own content. Additionally, I did a return journey with my bicycle! From Amsterdam Oost (where I live), is approximatively 20km one way. The route includes a ferry.

I took the ferry from Veer Hempontplein because I stopped in West to surprise my friend with a delicious cheesecake that I baked the night before. And also this route went through Zaandam!

I had to stop to capture this
Who let the ducks out!
This is not the best photo of Zaandam. I was in the middle of the bike lane and I had to take a quick pic. I wanted to go back but at return I took a different route. This reminds me, I should go back to Zaandam for a visit!
The famous architecture in Zaandam
Once arrived at the destination, I parked the bike and started walking down the paths. What we see today at Zaanse Schans is how a living and working community in the Zaan district looked back then, in the mid-19th century: farmsteads, paths, wooden houses, warehouses and windmills, ditches and fields. 
Zaanse Schans was founded on 12th September 1961, with the aim to promote and to create a typical Zaans residential area. Several buildings were transported to the area by water and road.
If you are interested to learn the history of every house and windmill you should check this resource: https://www.dezaanseschans.nl/en/history/
Each windmill, shop, house tells its own story. There, centuries of memories are like footprints of history resounding in each chamber. Hundreds of years ago people slept, cooked, laughed, cried, loved, argued, were born and died within those walls. 
The economy is suffering from the lack of tourists due to the pandemic, but my inner self is happy walking alone down the history lane which this place keeps alive.
The characteristic clatter of wooden clogs on cobblestones would never have existed without the artisans who crafted this unusual footwear. The Old Dutch handicrafts have also brought there the typical Dutch cheeses and the Delft Blue decorative style. I've encountered various different artisans as I strolled through the Zaanse Schans. There’s a great range of products available in the craft shops, for a wonderful souvenir of this special past. I'm proud to say I left from Zaanse Schans with a beautiful leather purse!
Souvenir from Zaanse Schans
Modern wooden clogs
On the foot, there is so much more to see!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stories from Hamburg

Lately I've heard a lot about Hamburg, how awesome it is and I was curious to see it with my own eyes. Being in Berlin these days, was the perfect moment to do it. I bought train tickets and here I am in a train going to Hamburg. With my book, enjoying a 2h train ride  The weather was not favorable to me, but I still have all my fingers. I must say, the rainy day enhanced the colors of this city. I was not kidding about the cold It took me a few time to get used with the temperature, but after that I forgot it was cold. I had set in mind to see the canals. I came here for that. I read some articles about this and I was impressed. It's said that it has more than Venice or Amsterdam. From what I've seen, it looks a lot with both of them, but on a different scale. If in the two cities mentioned the buildings are not so tall, here we find massive constructions. #wanderlust #urbanphotography #enthusiastictraveller A post shared by Madalina G. (@gmadalina92)

Kasteel de Haar - a luxurious castle

During the rainy days and with the current restrictions, my only consolation is writing about magical places I discovered in the past months in Netherlands. The subject of this post is De Haar Castle, a place rich in stories!  The joy of exploring this flamboyant castle De Haar is the largest castle in the Netherlands, once the private residence of the Van Zuylen family, whose descendants still stay there yearly. In the last century, the castle also frequently hosted members of the international jet set with their lavish lifestyle; from Coco Chanel to Roger Moore, they too left their mark on the sumptuous rooms of the most opulent spot in Utrecht. I visited the castle a couple of weeks ago, together with my dearest friend, Ioana, and it was a lovely Sunday, even with some warm sunshine!  This year I bought  Museumkaart  which allows free entrance to about 400 museums in the Netherlands, De Haar Castle included! Despite the months when the museums were/are closed, I got to use it a coup

Keep calm!

My fellow travellers around the world, it's a difficult time but this doesn't mean we have to give in to despair. The questions that I usually receive when I meet with friends are: 1) where do you plan to travel next? and 2) what events are happening this week(end) in the city?. Now with the new measures I will not be able to do any of them. Am I starting to panic? NO.  More than ever this is the moment when we have to be rational . Have I been to supermarket to buy more food? Yes, I have been, but I didn't make stocks for weeks or months. I bought the necessary for ONE person so I don't need to go daily to the supermarket. I don't like keeping social distance, but during these moments some physical and mental distance can help us to overcome this crisis. So how do I cope with the situation? In normal situation I am against online meetings, but now, I started to use these tools more. I am doing more often video calls with the loved ones. Remember this is a tem

Mind-blowing Singapore

Singapore is the last stop of this holiday. The initial plan was to stay only 3 nights and then head to Jakarta for another 2 nights and return from there back to Amsterdam. Due to the floods from the beginning of the year in Jakarta I decided to spend the rest of the holiday in Singapore and fly to Jakarta only for the return flight to Amsterdam. In these past days I revisited some places and also discovered new ones. I will share some of my favourites spots.  I will start with Gardens by the Bay . This is one of the spots I revisited and I loved walking around during night time. Daily at 7.45pm, 8.45pm you can enjoy the Garden Rhapsody, a signature light and sound show at Supertree Grove. Supertree Grove by night Garden Rhapsody The trees change the colours during the show  Until 15 March 2020 you can also enjoy one of the outdoor exhibits #futuretogether.  Autonomous resonating life on the water @ Dragonfly lake The ovoids of light standing on the surfac