Marken, Volendam and Zaanse Schans

We did a small day trip to Marken, Volendam and Zaanse Schans.  Yes, it was one of those terrible bus tours that is so ridiculously cheesy it is embarrassing….but I wanted to see some windmills in action.  Even if they were absolutely cheesy tourist type windmills.

Our tour begins on listening to the wonderfully calming voice of our guide through the headphones provided on the bus.  We were lucky enough to arrive GOOD and EARLY (thanks Dani) and were able to secure the seats on the top of the bus (yes, cheesy double decker bus) in the front.  The best vantage point.

We arrived in Zaanse Schans.  This is where we will see some windmills.  Lovely windmills that have been moved to this area in the 1970’s.  The windmills themselves were built after 1575.  We also learn that much of Holland is *technically* below sea level.  It is extremely picturesque and lovely and covered with tourists like ourselved snapping photos.

We climb back on the bus to travel a little further to Marken.  This is an interesting tourist destination because of the wooden houses that line its streets.  We wonder around for a while looking at all the homes, the lovely cobblestone streets and terribly tacky souvenir shops.  We decide that we need a snack, poffertjes which is now among our new favorite dutch treats.  We sit in a cute little shop that is decorated with cows and enjoy some coffee and poffertjes.

We board the ferry to continue our adventure to Volendam.  This is also an insanely popular tourist attraction for its old fishing boats and apparently there are residents in this town that still wear traditional Dutch dress.  The town is amazingly quaint and lovely so I can’t help but feel terrible for this large tourist group walking right through it and take photos of their laundry.  All I can keep thinking is that these poor people that actually live in this town (estimated population is 22,000) have tours that run through town each day at 11 and 3.  By my estimates, likely about 500 people at a time (two buses)

All and all, it was a fairly relaxing day hitting all the tourist highlights and collecting all the photo ops.

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