the promise of windmills and bucolic pasturelands led me to zaanse schans. north holland seemed to me like a giant swath of toile come to life. pastureland dotted with docile farm animals criss crossed by waterways and canals. sky earth water. i inhaled lungfuls of pureness. this earth is rich. no one has to tell you that. you can see it for yourself - a land of milk & honey. where the windmills have names like the cat, the cloverleaf, the seeker, the ox, the young sheep, the spotted hen.
it didn't take me long to find an animal to pet. a small brown goat agreed to let me rub his back. there were other city dwellers like me here. i could tell because we were the ones who made a beeline for the goats.
zaanse schans is an open-air museum that looks like a village, except it's not. no one lives here, but that doesn't mean it wasn't great fun to wander her streets. not as special as marken of course, but still quite lovely.
you can wander around and pretend like your in the willy wonka version of holland. the air smells like chocolate. there is cheesemaking to watch, and clog making, and more of that sort of thing. the windmills are working and there is an old verkade chocolate and biscuit company – hence the chocolate smelling air. very touristy, but still enjoyable.
the sun is shining. fluffy cloudpiles are drifting across the sky. the scenery is beautiful. and you can pet goats. what's wrong with that? not a thing!
i decided to walk across the bridge over the zaans river into zaandijk. the houses and buildings there called to me from across the river. they aren't part of the open-air museum. so away i went.
real peeps live here. with real little dogs sitting in real windows.
i found a cafe with outdoor seating by the river and plunked my arse down in a chair, admired the windmills, had some refreshments. rested up for the long walk back to the busstop. almost as soon as the bus arrived and i scrambled up the steps, found a window seat, and drifted off to sleep dreaming of goats and windmills, cows wearing clogs.
more travel journal pages unrelated to the day i just described.
the rijks museum was magnificent by the way, and afforded me many sketching opportunities. as mentioned before i didn't tote my travel journal around with me this time. i took photos with my camera and when i got back to the apartment (after a nap!) uploaded to my laptop and sketched from the photos. in the case of the rijks museum i sketched from postcards i bought in the gift shop.
tomorrow i'm off on an adventure up north. off off off she goes where she stops nobody knows!
packing the getaway car and heading out bright and early. i have a long drive ahead of me. going to spend some time chasing some literary ghosts. sorry, but a trip without some teasing just isn't a proper trip! i'm packing up my travel journal supplies so i can tie up loose ends from the road.
wanna check out a fabulous little 1966 b&w video of zaanse schans? it's in dutch. but that just adds to the charm! go HERE.