Hoi Netherlands: Day 5-Zaanse Schans and Amsterdam

Holy moly.

Zaanse Schans was breathtakingly amazing. And seeing it on two wheels made it extra special.

Our lunch box for Zaanse Schans

 We didn’t want to rush our day, and started it slow mo. We also cooked our own  lunch, to be eaten at Zaanse Schans. Luckily we did that, as we didn’t see much food options there.

ZE also managed to skype with her dada whilst she cooked rice and fried omelette.

Our daily affair at Amsterdam and Haarlem

 We then took a train from Haarlem to Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, for connecting train to Zaanse Schans. We then later found out that we needed to change train twice.

The train head to Zaandam, and then another train to Koog-Zaandijk station.


Edma Shop at Koog-Zaandijk station
We paid for 3 hours

 At Koog-Zaandijk station, we saw that bicycle rental was available at Edma Shop. This time round, we asked to see the bicycles first. Perfectly-fitting size. A one or two hours ride, turned into three hours and we paid €10 per bicycle.

Cycling to Zaanse Schans

 I watched ZE, my niece like a hawk this time. Even though it was a much friendly route, and also a smaller bike, compared to Haarlem, I was still paranoid. 

As it was already past noon, we found a lunch spot and had our home-cooked lunch.

Poor girl was stung by a wasp, as she was about to finish her lunch. She said that the wasp wanted to sting me, and she shooed it away, and she got bitten as a result. Poor girl was thinking on her feet, on the symptom, what to do, etc, etc.

Her aunt aka me wasn’t sure what to do. Sorry. ZE. It seemed that this has happened before, so she was trying to recollect her memories, and think of her next course of action.

Put others before herself, that’s our ZE.

Not long after that, we were up and running.

Visiting Zaanse Schans is free. We chose to visit one windmill, and paid €4.00 for adult and €2.00 for children.

So pretty, no?

 We walked into a cheese shop. My world of cheese! Tried my first smoked cheese here, and like it. Will buy some (if I can find) before we fly home. 

No one got this machine right

 Payment system for toilet here was confusing.

After Zaanse Schans, we chose to head to Amsterdam since we didn’t manage to explore the city much, due to rain. 

We managed to board a train after returning our bike. Thinking  that it was the same, we alighted at Zaandam station. Only to found out that that particular train continue on to Amsterdam Centraal. 

Since we were not in a hurry, it was no big deal. We took the next train.

Weather was kind to us. No rain yay! We took tram no 4 (€3 per person) from Amsterdam Centraal to Waterlooplein outdoor market (station: Waterlooplein) said to be Amsterdam’s funkiest outdoor market.

Patat from a food truck

 We had our first patat (fries, real fries) and it was goooooood. I also managed to try. 

Filet Americain sandwich

 Filet Americain, a typical Dutch sandwich spread. It is a raw beef spread served  on bread. One time is enough, it was so-so only, like a pate spread.

Not-very-pretty looking Dutch pea soup

 ZE managed to try Erwtensoep, which is a Dutch Pea soup. 

We bought a pack of fresh Dutch stroopwafels (€2.50) for sharing? But she only had two out of ten slices in the bag, and wanted to pay me for that. No need lah.

After the market, we took tram no 4 again, but we went to Dam Square instead. There was a place that caught ZE attention when we were at Dam Square two days back. Of course, I’ll bring her there lah. 

Read here and you’ll understand why.


Wok to Walk

 Wok to Walk. Asian food served in a take-away box. Honestly, yukes for my standard. This place is run by Thai, so I spoke a little bit of Thai with them.

Without realizing, we walked into Red Light district on our way to Amsterdam Centraal station. ZE was scared of her safety, and we talked about the life of prostitutes and I explained why prostitution is legal in this country.

Bye bye Amsterdam. Tomorrow we will be leaving Haarlem, so tot ziens (goodbye in Dutch). 


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.