Windmills and wooden clogs; two dutch traditions that I needed to see during my Amsterdam vacation. I took a bus day trip to Zaanse Schans, a popular tourist attraction that is a village comprised of historic homes, preserved windmills, and a wooden clog making demonstration.
Clogs are traditional shoes that are still worn today. I walked through a small exhibit showcasing the different types of clogs; including ones worn on Sundays, made for weddings, and even rollerskate clogs!
The clog making demonstration was led by a college student, who showed us the various tools used to make a clog from a single piece of wood. It took him about ten minutes, but he probably could have made it faster, if he hadn't been explaining the process. We sat on stumps of woods and watched. When he was finished, he walked in front of the machinery to reveal that he was wearing an enormous pair of clogs. It was a funny contrast to his modern clothing, but he admitted that when worn with a thick pair of socks, that they are quite comfortable.
Naturally, this was all leading up to a sales pitch for the souvenir clogs that were on sale in the shop. I liked the decor on the exterior of the building.
The windmills are scattered throughout the village. Some are open, and for a small fee you can enter and learn about the windmills, including getting a better look at the mechanisms. With the bus tour, I had just enough time to run around and take a few pictures. If you have time, I'm sure the interior tours are fascinating.
I came across an employee feeding a very friendly goose that had wandered outside of the petting zoo.
Here's the petting zoo. I like the straight-forward warning sign rhyme.
As I was heading back to the bus, I found these characters walking through Zaanse Schans. Check out the clogs!
Zaanse Schans: the perfect half-day, or in my case, one hour, excursion from Amsterdam. It's a bit of a tourist trap, but it's beautiful to see the Dutch countryside dotted with colorful windmills. Zaanse Schans looks like it's straight out of the pages of a fairytale.