The Dutch Traditional Village

From Schipol Airport, we took a train going to Koog-Zaandijk, which is about 30 minutes journey. And from there, we walked for about 15 minutes before we finally reach the beautiful Zaan Region. I fell in love with the place right away – the idyllic views of the windmills, the wooden quaint houses beautifully painted in green, the tranquil River Zaan, industrial shops and museums, the warm and friendly Dutch, and the green pasteurs.. Everything was so simple, yet so perfect.
 

Welcome to Zaanse Schans, Holland!

Welcome to Zaanse Schans, Holland!

I call this place the "Green Community"

I call this place the “Green Community”

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beautiful windmills along Zaan River

beautiful windmills along Zaan River

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Apollo enjoying the new environment

Apollo enjoying the new environment

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As we walked through, the aromatic fragrance of cocoa greeted us and lingered all over the place, made me crave for a hot chocolate drink. We were hypnotized by the smell, so we followed where it’s coming from and there it took us to the Chocolate Laboratory. There’s a free demonstration on how to make a chocolate drink, which involves four steps: 1-Roasting of clean and raw beans, 2-Cracking & Winnowing, 3-Grinding Cold, 4-Grinding Warm.
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Then we visited the Catherina Hoeve Cheese Factory which also held cheese making demonstration. It boasts to have the tastiest cheese on earth, goat cheese is my personal favourite. There were free taste and cheese for purchases as well.
 

cheese, anyone?

cheese, anyone?

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Just next to the Cheese Factory is one of the oldest museum dating back year 1658, the Bakery Museum. It holds an impressive collection of traditional baking equipments.
 

entrance to the Bakery Museum

entrance to the Bakery Museum

baking

There are hundreds of windmills in Zaanse Schans and they are particularly used for milling oils, paints, saw and spices. We entered the latter one.
 

milling spices

milling spices

spices

spices

We ended our Zaan trip by visiting the Wooden Shoe Workshop and Museum.We were demonstrated with the traditional and modern way of producing clogs. It was mentioned that an individual skilled shoemaker could make up to 7 pairs of clogs in a day, and for massive production of clogs, machines are being used. The museum also holds different kinds of clogs, depending on the purpose of use – there are work clogs, regional clogs, Sunday clogs (worn in going to church), wedding clogs, etc.
 

Apollo and the Big Clog

Apollo and the Big Clog

my boys playing around

my boys playing around

different kinds of clogs

different kinds of clogs

clog making demo

clog making demo

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