Saturday, April 27, 2013

Zannse Schans Windmills, Bikes and Anne Frank

This morning I headed out to the town of Zannse Schans. It still has about 6 or 7 working windmills and is very picturesque, sandwiched between fields and canals with green gabled houses all around. The downside is that the side with the windmills is really only for tourists and all the little shops and houses are pretty, but in a Disney fabricated type way. On the other hand they are pretty.






In one of the shops I saw a klompen (wooden shoe) making demonstration which was pretty cool. The best part was when they guy showed how the wood is still really wet and needs to dry out for a few months by putting his face in the hole of the newly carved shoe and blowing, causing water to drip out! It was kind of gross in a way but still really cool.



I wandered around a bit, but I was really cold, as I forgot that the wind can really bite into you. So I decided to rent a bike for a while as that way I would have something to do beyond just taking photos. I was hoping to make it to the other side of the river, but my geography skills weren't up to the task. I ended up going around some big field which was better anyway. It was a really peaceful and easy ride. The land is so flat that the riding is easy and with all the bike paths I don't feel like I am about to die like I would in the states. It's been a while since getting on a bike, but I got comfortable pretty quickly (though I definitely don't get on and off as gracefully as the dutch).


Selfie on the bike ride.
After my bike ride I headed back into Amsterdam. At a loss for what do I figured I might as well try to get a ticket into the Anne Frank house, as it's one of the most well known places in Amsterdam. It was impressionable seeing the house, but at the same time, there was very little to it. Her father, Otto, and the only one of the hidden inhabitants was the only to survive the war. He made sure that the house was to be presented with out any furniture, and generally empty to show the holes that were left by all of the deceased after the war. The biggest idea to impact me, which I didn't fully consider before, is that those in hiding didn't leave the house for two years. TWO YEARS! I get stir crazy if I'm inside for 2 days. They had many psychological stressors during their time in hiding. 

Afterwards I met up with a couchsurfer for a beer.

Another great day in the Netherlands.

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