Zaanse Schans & Brugges

Hello everyone!

Our journey continues! Currently we’re on our way to Brussels, so I decided to use this time to write another article….if you thought I’d say “to learn Swedish”…nah, you’re wrong, after past two days I cannot concentrate on something particular in the evening. Without further ado, let’s get started!

So in the morning, shortly after waking up and packing all of our stuff back, we were heade to Zaanse Schans – large open-air museum located in Zaanstad near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I have to mention one thing about the breakfast in that Ibis Budget hotel – I sleep in low-budget hotels all the time, and breakfast is always basically the same. But here we got to choose from some Dutch stuff as well, look at this cute little hagelslag and pindakaas!

I’ve already been in Zaanse Schans before, but didn’t enjoy it much since it rained that day back then. But guess what. It was sunny and cool today! I am so happy about it! Zaanse Schans is enchanting and beautiful all the time, but sunshine gives it even more glam. Since it was absolutely spring-ish and lovely outside, I decided to hire a bike (5€ per hour) and bike around the museum and nearby lying villages for a little, but if you’re there for the first time, I definitely recommend you to take a deep look inside all of those facilities since every one of them displays a different handictaft that used to be widespread around the Netherlands back in the day. For example, you can see how cheese and dairy products used to be made, then you have there a clogs factory, cocoa factory, soap factory, something along the lines of spices (kruiderij, can’t think of an English word for this?), some windmills which show the production of grains etc. And what’s the best thing about all of this? It’s free! I mean, when you want to climb the windmill or hire a bike, you naturally have to pay, but the initial entry is free of charge. Probably the best thing about this area, and the one that gives it the most charm, is the fact that it’s basically a functionable farm (boerderij), so you’ll encounter there also animals, workers and equipment. However, it is not like e.g. Marken or Volendam which are also considered open-air museums, both fully inhabited. People don’t live there, only work there. Plus it serves the business purposes since tourists love it, so it’s definitely a win-win.

Just like with Keukenhof, also here it is better to come earlier, just so you won’t have to move with crowd and stand in lines. We left at about 11am and sadly, also were on our way to leave the Netherlands. Oh, how am I gonna miss this country! The next stop on our way were Brugges. I don’t want to make enemies, but what a huge difference there is between the Netherlands and Belgium? Highways in NL were absolutely flat and smooth and I didn’t have to be concerned about losing signal even in the tunnels. And in Belgium? I couldn’t catch it for about half an hour, none of the networks seemed to work. Plus the highways felt more bumpy than those in East Europa. I’ve never really liked Belgium since my first visit there two years ago was bad in every way. However, even after these little inconveniences I decided to give it a chance.

When we arrived to Brugges, it was raining, and basically it was very cloudy the entire time. Nevermind, we didn’t let on our plans anyway. We toured the entire city, started at Cathedral of St. Salvatore and ended at a huge plate of Waterzooi. We saw Begijnhof, walked around the canals, had a great time. And of course, I just couldn’t miss a chance to enjoy Belgian wafels!

Tomorrow we’re going to visit Brussels and Luxembourg, then move to another hotel in Strasbourg where we’re gonna spend one day. I’m not looking forward for Strasbourg, but Luxembourg is definitely gonna be interesting! I’ll keep you updated with everything, as always.

Have a great day!

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