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Jun 26 2013

Windmills, Clogs, Cheese, and Pancakes

Having been surprised by Holland with its wine production, I was on the hunt for a more stereotypical Holland such as windmills, clogs, cheese, and pancakes.  I just felt it had to be done, no matter how touristy that may seem.  Thankfully, a fellow blogger, Jennifer from jdombstravels.com, had found a place just outside Amsterdam that sounded like it fitted the bill and… she was so right!

Having met at the white tourist information office on the east side of Amsterdam Central Station,  we bought our bus tickets and boarded bus 391, which took us there in less than an hour.  Then, within about a minute of getting off the bus, we saw our first windmill, then another, then another… you get the picture!

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This was just what we had been searching for.  At first, I thought it was a bit too fake and wondered how old the buildings were.  To my surprise, I found out that the buildings are actually very old but well-preserved.  I talked to a lady behind the counter of the antique and curiosity shop, Het Jagershuis.  She told us that the building, which was constructed in 1623, was moved to that location 40 years ago – the whole building –  incredible!  

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There are four windmills you can visit.  We went inside one of them, which cost 3€.  It was interesting to see a working mill.  As the wheels turned and clunked away, we could feel the floor shuddering underneath us, which was a little disconcerting.  You have to be careful where you stand because of the moving parts.  The stairs are really steep too and you have to watch your head. 

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After being almost blown away by the wind at the top of the windmill and then walking about in the cold, we saw a sign for hot chocolate – fabulous!  We placed our order, sat down, used the free WiFi that was available (impressive, eh!),and then enjoyed the smoothest tasting hot chocolate I’ve ever had.  That hit the spot and warmed me up.

We didn’t go into the clock and watch museum but headed for the pancake restaurant instead.  It was gone lunchtime and our bellies were telling us we needed some food.  On the way there, we passed by the cheese shop and had the opportunity to taste some original and more contemporary cheeses.  The most unusual looking and tasting cheese for me had to be the pesto cheese.  Yes, I did say pesto and, yes, it was green!

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There were also some great tasting mustards.

When we got to the pancake restaurant, I have to say that I was shocked at the price of the pancakes, which started at 6.95 for a plain one up to 11.50 for the pancake of the day… and you only get one pancake.  I decided not to bother at that price but Jennifer did.  Once I saw her pancake though, I changed my mind.  Hers looked and smelled delicious so I decided to go for it and have one myself – cherry jam and cream.  It was heavenly and actually very filling because the pancakes are quite thick. 

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We couldn’t leave without visiting the clog museum and OMG were there lots of clogs!  We saw every type, colour, age, and function of clog ever invented, I think.  It was incredible!  There were clogs on two floors, they were hanging from the ceiling, and there were rows upon rows of clogs all neatly lined up waiting for someone to try them on and buy them; there were clogs everywhere we turned.  Neither of us had ever worn clogs so we ceased the opportunity and tried on a few different pairs to see what we thought.  I didn’t find a pair that fitted me perfectly but they looked really cute, don’t you think? 

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We had a bit of fun as well because there were some massive (when I say massive, I mean massive) clogs outside for photo opps, which we naturally took full advantage of 🙂

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More information

This is where it’s located…

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About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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