Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Windmills - 9 April 2007

No trip to Holland could be complete without seeing some genuine Dutch windmills.

Zaanse Schans from the river
Zaanse Schans is an area beside the River Zaan that used to have The water pumping mill200 windmills. Today there are eight working windmills left. As well as the expected flourmill and water-pumping mill (both quite tiny) there is a sawmill, a mustard mill (family run since 1792), an oil mill and the last remaining paint mill where they grind pigments for artist’s paints. The area has been turned into a model village, by the addition of houses that have been relocated here. There are merchants' houses along the river and workers' cottages on the lower-lying ground. In spite of the tourist buses it is a tranquil and fascinating place to visit.

Oil Mill, Paint Mill & Saw MillMerchant's houses
Back in Amsterdam we had a final wander through the city before heading to the airport for a dream run home: the BA pilot managed to chop 20 minutes off a 65-minute flight; the immigration queue was three people long; bags were 4th and 7th on to the carousel; the inter-terminal shuttle was waiting; the Southern train was at the platform when we got there; we had 5 minutes to wait at Clapham Junction; and the Harrow & Wealdstone Tube had just pulled in to Wilesden Junction as we ran down the stairs. 2:40 from take-off gate to front door at the end of a holiday weekend - quite remarkable.
Workers' cottagesWorker's cottage

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