A few less known places in Holland

Giethoorn – the Venice of Holland

Giethoorn is my perfect Holland city. No cars, only boats and bikes allowed and all the houses with thatch roofs. And, for 15 euros per hour you too can rent a boat to visit the whole place.

Volendam – The Cheese factory

..with its Dutch version of hanging clothes.

Zaanse Schans – Visiting windmills

With more than 1000 mills (grinding mills, paper mills, oil mills, water mills, peeling mills, corn mills), Zaan area is the first industrial area in the world. You can visit one of the mills and learn more about them at the Windmills Museum.

As to me, I have never known that windmills make paper.

And definitely I had no idea that, starting way back when, in 1601, the ones in the Zaan area used to make the best paper in the world.

Back then, the paper was made out of used clothing and rugs crushed into fibers that were then soaked in water. The resulting slurry was the basis for the famous paper.

If there was no wind for a long time and the weather condition wouldn’t improve, a mill was build in such a way so it could be moved to a different location.

Marken – Clog (Klompen) making

In Marken, there is a famous clog making place where all the tourists go. But all you’ll find there is a huge shop with tons of clogs and no demonstration of how they are actually made.

To make it even worse, you cannot drive into the village. You need to park your car outside, in the one and only parking lot, where you will pay 3.50 euro plus 0.50 per person. Enjoy!

Or, keep driving further towards the city of Hoorn, where you will find a beautiful store with free parking and where you can watch how a simple block of wood is transformed into a wooden shoe (clog= klompen). The guy who makes them has been working in this same shop for 16 years so he knows his stuff. Hey, he might even guess your size!

Clogs are made out of green poplar and it takes about five weeks to dry them. They turn yellow because the farmers use cheese wax to protect them from the weather.

Fun fact: “Sabotage” comes from the French for clog, sabot. They sabotaged machines throwing in clogs.



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