Annie Bananie en Europe

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Holland part 2: Gone with the windmills

This is part 2 of a 3-part series on a weekend trip to the Netherlands. Click here for part 1 and here for part 3. If you just want to see pictures, click here. If you’re actually interested in a bit of narration, please carry on.

My first impression of Holland when I was a young child was the windmill. Whenever anyone mentioned Holland, I would imagine huge windmills and women wearing cute white traditional Dutch dresses. Tulips came later into the picture, but nothing beats windmills when you’re talking about symbols of Holland.

When my colleague suggested a visit to the tiny village of Zaanse Schans, I gladly accepted the proposition. After a “crazy” night in Amsterdam (which I will write about later, and explain what “crazy” means), Zaanse Schans was a humble little place to visit first thing on a Sunday morning, with the weather in our favour every step of the way.

It turned out to be more than worth it because first of all, there is no admission fee. Of course, if you choose to buy souvenirs, that’s your choice. I’m usually not a souvenirs person, but Zaanse Schans was the only destination in the Netherlands from which I actually bought souvenirs for my friends. All the variety and all the adorable designs – and surprisingly not too too expensive (except for the postcards that sold for 1.25 Euros each)!

Also, the scenery at Zaanse Schans was beautiful. As soon as we stepped into the entrance of the village, we were captivated by the windmills waving in the distance and the photo-snapping began, even though we weren’t anywhere close to the windmills. Along with souvenir-buying, we spent a good half an hour in the entrance area, and we haven’t even crossed the bridge that led to the actual attraction itself. The parking cost was 1 Euro for 30 minutes and 7 Euros for any duration more than 30 minutes, so to make the parking cost worthwhile, we’d have to stay for at least 3.5 hours. It didn’t seem possible at first, but with the half an hour spent just at the entrance, maybe we spoke too early and underestimated the charm of the little place…

Entrance area with lots of tourists. The two houses up ahead were the souvenir shops and we spent much more time than expected in there, though I did manage to get some goodies.

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