July 19, 2013
if you're promised a handful of working windmills, rows of little green houses and a town that boasts the quirkiest international hotel...you'd be keen, right? thanks to NS and la place ticket deals we made our way 50 miles north to zaanse schans and then onto zaandam on tuesday for an absolute steal. i won't forget the beautiful haarlem which we made our last stop that day, but it's a city that deserves her own post. the windmills situated in the little industrial town of zaanse schans were the very first factories in the zaan region. a handful of them still press oil, grind dyes, saw wood and make paper. it was a beautiful sight but tainted slightly but the number of tourists that had flocked to see them that day. the weather was warm but a little overcast so we made our way quickly to the paint mill, the most favoured mill for me. we climbed the dizzy heights of the narrow ladders that elevated us up to impressive views of the area. i saw for the first time the working components of a windmill and i was suitably impressed. these charming buildings aren't just there to adorn holland's landscape, so my love for them has now doubled in size. we saw the very first albert heijn (holland's primary supermarket) contained within the most quaint emerald green house that i would just die to live in. it reminded me of my days as an 8 year old wandering perth's pioneer world, still a treat for this fast approaching 30 year old. once i'd taken a mere 80 or so photos it was time to move onto the nearby town of zaandam, a word i just love pronouncing. i'd seen photos of the famous inntel hotel and was prepared for the squeals i would be ejecting as the train pulled into the station. as we exited the brightest station i had ever seen the quirky design of the inntel stood right before me. it was like being inside a theme park, and i'm only talking about the main street. giant red, white and blue tulips adorned fences, every tone of green was used to decorate building facades and were highlighted with a brilliant white scalloped trim that really made the colours pop. i was in heaven. i'll let the photos speak for themselves and will be back shortly with a post about the beautiful cities of den haag and haarlem. it's definately the dutch life for me.