So what can you do to overcome a particularly gloomy day?
Head out and get some good breakfast that can last you to the end of the day! We did exactly that and landed at MOAK Pancakes. If you’re in Amsterdam and want a breakfast that can keep you going for long, head over to these guys and be assured to not want anything for the next couple of hours.
After devouring the pancakes we headed straight to our hotel and took the bus #391 directly to Zaanse Schans. This heritage route bus takes you to the industrial district of Holland and makes its last stop right outside the Zaanse Schans windmills located in the Zandaam district. The other way to get here is via train but the station at Zandaam is located at a 15 minute walk from the windmills.
The windmills are located one after the other and each has it’s own significance. We got to see a working mill for free which was used to grind spices and grains. Up until now, I did not know that mills could also be used to cut up lumber, for making oil by pressing seeds or to make paint and dyes. When I visited Zaanse Schans, I came to know that the De Kat mill, is the only working mill in the whole world that makes paint.
The entrance to the fields also houses a couple of souvenir shops, a cheese farm, a chocolate shop and along the cheese farm you will also see a small petting zoo including goats, hens and chicks.
We were here for about 2.5 hours and it was approximately post noon when we decided to head back to the hotel for a nap. After a good morning walk around the windmills we wanted to head over to the Albert Cuyp Market which is known to be the largest daytime market in Europe.
At Albert Cuyp, we realized that you can get everything and anything. If you’re looking for Stroopwaffles, then this is a place to catch the freshest ones in all of Amsterdam. Also, for all your touristy souvenir shopping pick it up here, it’s the same stuff you’ll get in all the gift shops but 2-4 Euros cheaper and in a wide variety. Also, be sure to visit before 4 p.m since the market closes at 5 p.m.
One thing that we did buy at the market was some great Medjool dates and salted cashews. The shop where we got it also had different styles of nut and trail mixes and luckily sold in quantities as small as 100 grams.
At last we seated ourselves to a nice dosa and idli-chutney at Saravana Bhavan, Amsterdam located in the De Pijp neighborhood. On our long walk, we visited the area around Rijkmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Then we made our way forward towards our hotel via the amazing Vondelpark. We walked back to our hotel taking the road from De Pijp to Jordaan to De Wallen neighborhood. We definitely walked by what can be described as the SoHo of Amsterdam and amongst it all I surely enjoyed the long walk to the hotel.
It’s kind of a late update on this second post, but I ‘ll surely post more this week and stay tuned for the last part of the Amsterdam series.