Monday, June 4, 2012

Amsterdam Trip Day 3: Windmills, Cheese, & Wooden Shoes

On our third day in the Netherlands, I woke up and had to acknowledge that it was no longer my birthday, and that it would be another 364 days before it would be my birthday again.  This is a sad realization for someone like me who loves their birthday.  But since I was still on vacation, I knew I could suck it up and savage the day somehow...

We spent the morning and afternoon exploring Amsterdam some more. We enjoyed taking pictures, eating tasty food (frosted dessert waffles with sprinkles!), and buying gifts for our friends and family. Unfortunately, we bought our families some tulip bulbs for their gardens not knowing we couldn't bring them back to the USA. So we got in trouble with customs, and when we returned, they marked Adam's passport, and took our tulips (I was sooo sad).

After lunch, we again headed out to the Dutch countryside. This time to Zanne Schanes, Vollendam, and Marken. Zanne Schanes is a beautiful, historic windmill village. The windmills here were actually working windmills. Currently, the windmills were making oils for painting, spices, and cocoa. The whole town smelled like cocoa! (BTW, the windmills in the Netherlands were originally used to drain excess water from the country, since the whole country is on reclaimed land). Zanne Schanes also had rustic little houses and animals running around.

Vollendam is an old fisherman's village, which is quaint, and had people dressed in traditional Dutch dress. Citizens of Vollendam even speak their own dialect!   In Vollendam, we spent some time sitting by the edge of the North Sea and drinking Heineken beers from the tap, enjoying the afternoon. Next, we took a ferry to the darling island of Marken. Marken is home of Cheese & Wooden Shoes. So while in Marken, we attended a demonstration on how they make their cheese. We, of course, sampled some cheese and bought some cheese to take home (soon I would love to have a cheese party!). We also went to the Klompenmakerij (a wooden shoe factory) and got to see them make a pair of wooden shoes!

We had a great day and at the end of the day, I was so excited, because I knew the next day I was going to the Anne Frank Huis. Which I had dreamed about for years!

Song of the Day: Strangers Like Me by Phil Collins

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