So after six hours of a very long haul train ride from Berlin to Amsterdam, we’ve finally reached our destination. Word of advice: Don’t ever travel to Amsterdam during weekends, You have no idea how tiring it is to stand in a fully packed train for almost half of your traveling hours.
We arrived around 20:00 (night time), with already a ton of bad luck on our end as we forgot to make an early check in to our hostel, we were left homeless for the night. At this time, almost all the hotels & inns in the city center are already full and overbooked.
(Luckily help was on our midst!)
We stayed in Almere (a city, an hour away from Amsterdam), hosted by one of our dutch friend / guide / and lovely host, Marius. The two hours of traveling back and forth everyday might have been quite time consuming for our itineraries, but our host’s apartment was just divine, made us feel at home!
Again, Holland was not on our main itinerary. It was however suggested by Marius as he knew we would probably wanna check out the windmills in the country side of Netherlands. So we made a day out of our small trip to Zaanse Schans, a little enchanting neighborhood in Northern Holland.
FYI I had no clue how “enchanting” the place is, no BS!
(Picture this) If we recall those picture books we used to have in kindergarten about places around the world.. Every time we turn the pages to Holland, remember how it always shows us images of windmills on lakes, tulips and green grass, people on their bikes smiling and a lady wearing wooden shoes in an apron dress with a dutch triangular bonnet on her head ? This is the exact scenery we saw in Zaanse Schans, and I mean literally, except for the triangular bonnet on women’s head & the wooden shoes, although it would be really cool if they still wear this now in modern times.
5 Things to look forward on your trip to Zaanse Schans.
- Expectations meets reality.
In this little town, whatever you see in pictures, on the internet or even the images inside your head (you’ve expected to see) are definitely achieved. The first time I saw the breathtaking sights of the windmills I was in absolute awe. *insert sparkly eyes here*
2. Little town behind the windmills.
There’s a little town in Zaanse Schans, just behind where the Windmills are, and it’s just absolutely darling. Cute little houses with colorful porches, classic coffee shops, tiny boutiques, tulips in variety of colors.. It’s like taking a stroll to polly pocket land.
3. Wooden Shoes Everywhere! You can try one on for size!
4. Dutch People are super friendly.
If on my previous post, i’ve mentioned that the Slovaks are the most well dressed and attractive people in Europe. I’d say the Dutch are the friendliest! Especially in Northern Holland. Dutch folks riding their bikes always have these cheerful smiles on their faces, they greet you good day and they’d even offer to take your picture.
5. It isn’t jam packed with tourists.
I’d say there are still tourists all around the area, however it isn’t as crowded compared to the main capital, Amsterdam.
How to get there:
Take the BUS 391 from Amsterdam Central Station (it leaves every 15 minutes). The trip will take about 40 minutes to reach the place, it’s the last stop before the bus turns around and returns to Amsterdam again.
Words and Phrases I learned in Dutch: (Thanks Korian!)
- Goedendag “Good Day”
- Hoi! “Hi there”
- Hallo “hello”
- Wat wil je eten? “What do you want to eat?”
- Mag ik een biertje “I would like to drink beer please”
- War is de badkamer “Where is the bathroom?”
- Dit is matching mooi “This is amazing”
- Kom Snel Weer “Come back soon”
- GEZELLIGHEID (there’s no english translation for this but this is a dutch word that incorporates something that means “fun” or “cosy” or “point on”)
Photo Credit: Benjamen Colegado (Jamcole Photography)