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Manu | 1 August 2012 | 1 comment

Windmills at Zaanse Schan

What a fairy land  the country side of Holland is! A truly surprisingly beauty that I didn’t expect at all.

As soon a s you step up from the city center, Holland invades your sight with its peaceful bucolic landscapes of green.

Dutch countryside

With the eyes of Van Gogh…

You are not going to see the majestic mountain peaks of course, but it’s green countryside, with its slow time passing, animals around not caring iof the world going on, and the green of the grass surrounding beautiful windmills of lost generations make me feel finally in peace with the rest of this country.

Even though a very touristic spot, the windmill area is a must see in this country, because it’s its most famous landmark and because it’s truly magnificent.

It’s impressive to see them still moving and making their job, and more magnificent it’s to discover how important they have been to the developing  of this country and the transformation from a country side to a world power nation in the past. This is the man’s power at its simplest and best.

I could stay hours and hours laying on the grass and staring at the windmills moving fast with the wind power, surrounded by  a sweet chocolate scent  coming from a nearby chocolate farm, and invading the air around ,making the feeling of being there even sweeter. A truly moment of bliss, under the Nordic sun that for once was shining and playing around the sky with the white clouds.

Although the Dutch are not famous  by the expats living here to be the most friendly people in the world, it helps to go outside the big cities to discover other kind of people, more generous and friendly, less sophisticated and lovely, and finally start to love them again. That was the case of places like Volendam, famous even among the Dutch themselves to be one of the most friendly town of Holland.


Since you arrive at the harbor, that is also the center of the town, you are immersed in a lively happy atmosphere where locals mix to tourists and share with them a pint, their music and some nice talk about their country. You don’t see this in the main cities, not in Holland nor anywhere else. Volendam is famous for being the town where most of the typical Dutch musicians come from, so all over the places it can happen that people listen to it very loud, and I found it funny how this music can influence the humor of the people as well.

In Volendam I experienced some of the best food of Holland, finally! Being a fish town means fish and seafood should be gorgeous, and it was. I couldn’t stop eating sandwiches with fresh shrimps, salmons, fried calamari’s, I even ate paella in a local shop. What a gorgeous place!

Water reflections of beauty in Marken

So when my stomach was finally full and happy, and I was as ready for the next step, I finally managed to take the boat to Marken, a tiny little island off the coast of Volendam, where a small community of people lives and enjoy the slow life of the country side. Walking through Marken is like walking through a fairytale land. Small and coloured houses with beautiful gardens full of flowers reflect themselves on the canals crossing the isle.

Marken, colourfull dreamland!

In a  sunny and wonderful day like it was, Merken looked like one of the most enchanting villages I have ever seen. Colours are all over, the blue of the sky and the water, the green of the grass and the houses, the red of the roofs, the yellow and brown of the wooden shoes, and the smile of the people made it a place to love like no others in this country.