Day 6: Zaanse Shans, Volendam and Marken
As I hadn’t yet seen the infamous Dutch windmills, I decided to book another day tour from Amsterdam, featuring Zaanse Shans, Volendam, and Marken.
The tour started off with a stop at Zaanse Shans, a cute residential area located in Zaandam filled with windmills. We were able to go inside the windmills to watch demonstrations and learn how the windmills operate.
One thing I did NOT anticipate, although I should have, is just how windy it really is there! I guess they chose their windmill locations accurately!
We were then given some time to walk around Zaandam, where I warmed up with some delicious hot chocolate from a local cafe and explored some more.
Next on our tour was Volendam, a fishing village known for it’s colorful wooden houses. Our trip to Volendam started with a tour of the Cheese Factory and ended with a demonstration on the Stroopwaffel. Both were delicious, although I HAD to pick up some stroopwaffels to bring home with me.
We grabbed lunch in Volendam and then headed on the boat towards Marken. Marken is very similar to Volendam, although maybe even more quaint, if that’s possible. We walked through the colorfully painted houses towards the Wooden Shoe Factory.
Here we watched a demonstration and learned how clogs are made. Afterwards, we were able to try on a variety of beautifully decorated clogs (and purchase them, if we so chose).
We returned to Amsterdam and it was time for me to check into my more affordable lodging for the next 2 nights, Flying Pig Uptown Hostel.
PRO TIP: There are 2 Flying Pig Hostels in Amsterdam – Uptown and Downtown. Downtown is closer to major transportation and the Red Light District while Uptown is closer to museums and Leidseplein, one of the main squares in Amsterdam.
That night I tried to make some friends at the hostel bar, but to be honest, everyone was in the smoking room. I am not a smoker, so after my strike-out I headed to Leidseplein for some dinner and drinks.