Last Saturday my friends and I went on a daytrip to Volendam and Zaanse Schans to enjoy the first sunny days of spring. The trip was organized by the ISN Amsterdam network and was really cheap, so we had to participate!
Volendam is a super cute little town by the Markermeer and famous for its traditional Dutch costumes. The town really is small, so we only spent around 2 hours there. We did a photoshoot in the traditional garments and had some yummy fish and chips at a local restaurant.
I loved the fact that Volendam has many cute cafés offering a nice view of the sea, but I hated the fact that it is so overrun by tourists. The roads are rather narrow and there’s not many of them anyway but they were so crowded you couldn’t walk in a straight line! This situation reminded me a lot of what has been happening to Hallstatt in Austria for decades now. There’s tousands of tourists in a day and the little towns just can’t cope with it. It was kind of sad to see that the Netherlands also have a town lika Hallstatt… but as far as I know, Volendam has not been copied by the Chinese yet.
Zaanse Schans is a little village depicting traditional Dutch architecture and life created for tourists. The most prominent characteristic are the stereotypical windmills. Honestly, I think you don’t have to plan more than 30 minutes for the visit. It’s cool to stroll through the tiny roads and take a look at the Albert Heijn Museum. Oh yeah, and take a pic with the windmills.
I was kind of shocked by how flat Holland really is… I mean… not that I didn’t know before, but, coming from Austria, it’s kind of weird to me not to see any background in the distance. You can see like 5km when the sky is clear, which is a whole new experience to me! Mind you, I come from a part of Austria that is not considered to be mountainous, but we do have many green hills etc. I thought this was rather flat until I came to Holland!
All in all, it was a perfect day for some sightseeing and it was really cool to get out the busy city for once. I really want to do more city trips in the coming months though!