The week so far in The Netherlands has been filled with windmills, cheese, flowers and chocolate. Tuesday we travelled to the town of Zaanse Schans. Situated on the canals it known for its windmills and chocolate. Parked up at a free camper stop next to the railway. It’s a short walk to windmills. The smell of chocolate fills the air and there is something about being able to taste it, as you breathe it in. The windmills, spread out over a small area along the canal. As we were leaving some of the windmills started to rotate. It’s quite a tourist attraction but still a great site to visit. You can buy hot drinking chocolate and there is a Cacao museum. We were going to catch the train in from here to Amsterdam. But as the weather was overcast and not so great for the solar panels charging we decided on going into Amsterdam. The train was also €21 return for both of us and the dogs. The price to stay at Amsterdam city camp, €29 including electric & two dogs. You can get the free ferry across to central station. So we decided on Amsterdam City Camp. Parked up we headed in on the ferry. What a great thing, every 30 minutes and only a 15 min journey. Bikes here seriously out number cars. The storage racks at central station a fascination for so many. This is my second time here, Jason’s first. Immediately you notice the sheer number of people and bikes, its one of the busiest cities. We stopped for frites ( hot chips/fries) and then headed for a wander up and down the canals. The smell of pot, everywhere you go. I asked Jas if he’s stopping in a coffeehouse for some. Something you have to do if you come to Amsterdam. He did and we sat at the canal whilst he had a smoke. Canal boats cruising past, most of the old town in a small area.
Today we left for Lisse, famous for its flowers. I was hoping the flowers were still in bloom by the canals. Most were finished till the spring but there was still a few ones around. With not much to see we decided to go to Gouda. Arriving on the last cheese market of the year. Run every thursday from april till the end of august. It was probably the coolest place we have been in Holland. The market was packed, vendors selling their cheeses, the De Goudse Waag (weighing house) demonstrating the weighing of cheeses. The staff dressed in traditional dress, clogs and all. The market a hive of activity, it would be rude not to buy cheese. A choir and band playing, the church bells ringing. The atmosphere was just something that has to be experienced. Gouda is a pretty town, with canals and historic buildings. It’s also known for its candles, ceramics,and treacle waffles. But most of all its known for its cheese. We might stay here a couple of days as there is a Culifeest Gouda event on. Any reason to sample cheese suits me…. then heading south towards Belgium