, , , , , ,

This morning we arrived in Amsterdam, and after breakfast headed out into the countryside, to the picturesque village of Zaanse Schans, a scenic tour through the reclaimed land within the dykes – by far the highest points in the otherwise flat landscape that is The Netherlands- and a visit to the famous cheese-making village of Edam. The afternoon was free time, which we spent on a short walk through the area between the harbour and central station and the main square. Finally, a bit more culture before our last night on Scenic Jewel.

Windmills at Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is not just a tourist village; the windmills here are still used for various industries. We visited one that milled coloured material for paints and dyes; another was processing timber.

Windmill "steering wheel"

The “steering wheel” on one of the windmills, used to turn the sails into the wind.

Clog making

Clog making at the Klompenmakerij – what a lovely word! – wooden shoe workshop and museum at Zaanse Schans. Formerly done by hand, and taking 2-3 hours, it’s now done by machine and takes less than 5 minutes.

June, Helen and Carmel in a large clog

June, Helen and Carmel in a large clog at Zaanse Schans

Childrens transport

These “motorised tubs” were used to transport these young school children to the tourist area of Zaanse Schans.

Edam canal

The main canal in Edam.

Bridge & spire, Edam

A small lifting bridge, and church spire, in the village of Edam.

Edam house

This house (now a restaurant) would have been unusual in Edam – because it has curtains! In the past, the strongly Calvinistic people of Edam left their windows bare so that anyone could see in and confirm that nothing sinful was taking place.

Edam cheese market

The Edam cheese market. There were also several small cheese shops in the main street of the village.

Amsterdam canal, and Church of St. Nicholas

Amsterdam canal, and Church of St. Nicholas.

Fragata ARA Libertad sail training ship

Fragata ARA Libertad, an Argentine Navy sail training ship, was visiting Amsterdam on the day we arrived there.

String quartet on Scenic Jewel

Another cultural event – a string quartet – on our last evening on board Scenic Jewel.