A visit to the Netherlands isn’t really complete without seeing a windmill.
It would be like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower, like a trip to New York City without seeing the Empire State Building.
You get my point: Windmills and the Netherlands just go hand in hand.
It was a last minute idea to make a side trip from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans. Seeing the windmills was something I wanted to do while I was in Holland so we took a train which took about 40 minutes, rented some bikes, and made our way into town!
Zaanse Schans lies in the Zaan region of northern Holland, and is Western Europe’s oldest industrial area. At one point there were over 600 windmills here running at the same time. Today ten windmills, each with a unique name and purpose, remain.
We peeked into a working windmill named Verfmolen De Kat, which was grinding chalk used for making artists’ pastel crayons. The mills here aren’t only used for grinding oil, others are used to saw wood, make spices, and grind pigment for paint colours.
Built around the windmills are traditional style Dutch houses and small farms, complete with sheep, goats, and chickens.
It was defintely lovely day in the country!