Sunday, 16 October 2022
I woke up early to prepare for the half-day Amsterdam tour that I purchased yesterday. I had a quick breakfast at the hotel and walked to the meeting point at Amsterdam Central.
The tour guide met us near the tour shop and guided us to the bus. Given that there was a large group of Spanish tourists, the guide spoke in both English and Spanish throughout the tour.
Our first stop was Zaanse Schans, a windmill village just slightly north of Amsterdam. It’s a traditional village with real people still staying there. The main attractions were the windmill that has been carefully maintained since 1786.
We had a tour inside the windmill where the caretaker explained the history and what is being produced in a windmill. It’s really fascinating to learn how the windmill was one of the earliest form of machinery which gave the Dutch a massive global advantage in the 17th and 18th century.
I went into a souvenir shop and decided to try the hot chocolate and waffle. It tasted really good in the cold weather!
Our next stop is the traditional shoe factory in Marken. I didn’t know much about clogs (wooden shoes) until I visited the factory in Marken. At the factory, we were briefed on the history and technicalities of making a clog.
After the shoe factory, we walked to the jetty and boarded a ferry to Volendam. The ferry ride was pleasant. There weren’t too many people on the tour so there were ample space to move around. I spent some time enjoying the breeze at the top part of the ferry before going to the cafe for a nice cup of hot chocolate and some chips.
Volendam is a fishing town well known among tourists for the cheese factory, boats and seafood.
As part of the tour, we visited the famous cheese factory and were given a short demonstration on how cheese was made. The shop also sold various types of cheese. I bought a few souvenir packs to bring back home.
From the cheese factory, I did a bit of sight seeing and went to have lunch at a highly recommended fish and chips shop. True enough, it was the tastiest fish and chips I’ve had in a while!
From Volendam, we took the bus to return to the city. It was a pleasant half day trip and definitely good value for price I paid.
I arrived back in Amsterdam around 1:30PM. Given that I still half the day to myself, I did more sightseeing at the shopping district in the city. I took the tram and dropped near Kalverstraat Shopping Street. It’s a busy shopping district. I saw a Waterstones and decided to go check it out.
I still had a free canal boat tour as part of the tourist package I bought earlier, and it would be a waste not to use it. I got myself onto the evening tour the started near Amsterdam Central. It was a guided tour. Along the way, the guide shared numerous interesting facts about the city.
After the boat tour, I went to look for a place to have dinner. I saw a restaurant called Flame Steakhouse near the hotel and decided to give it try. Usually I don’t usually eat steak so this is quite rare for me. Surprisingly, the meal was good!
I made a short video that captured my day trip in Amsterdam below. Enjoy!