No little scoop/big scoop for this post as it was just a half-day-trip! However, you’ll likely think we ate enough to last an entire weekend.
As I recently mentioned, we had both previously been to Amsterdam, so we were very keen to explore beyond the city into the Dutch countryside on this trip.
As we did not have a rental car and were not all that eager to spend 8 hours on a bus, this half day Viator trip to three nearby areas was perfect.
We started the day driving to the seaside town of Volendam. If you take this tour, don’t eat breakfast beforehand! The first top is a demonstration and cheese sampling at Cheese Factory Volendam, where they have tons of gouda varieties. We loved the truffle! The demonstration was really comprehensive and delivered in multiple languages – very impressive!
We next walked down the street to try stroopwafels at Woltje’s Backerij. The stroopwafel is a Danish creation of two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel (or chocolate) syrup filling in the middle. They were so cute and purposefully sized – locals put them atop their coffee mugs, and the heat melts the inside for a gooey treat.
While it was early, we were then sent to lunch – to be a responsible writer, I tried the street waffles so that I could report back to you if they were better than Bruges. Both delectable but Bruges wins. My husband went the savory route and raved about local favorite kibberling, fried cod.
The town itself was really special.
We then took a 15 minute ferry to Marken where we hit the clog factory. Again we were so impressed by the multilingual guide who made a pair in front of our eyes in 5 minutes by machine. We tried on a few pairs, which are still worn by the Dutch countrymen and women today who work outside in the dewy fields. They weren’t quite comfortable enough to buy our own pair, but I bought a pair of clog slippers instead.
We had a bit less time after the demonstration to explore, but we really enjoyed seeing the lush and lovely town.
Last we drove to the closest windmills to Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans.
We went inside a saw mill, where logs are chopped into lumber from the windmill’s windpower. We were surprised at how much power was generated! The guide told us sometimes he needs to turn propellers off so that they do not overproduce. We didn’t have much time to wander the area, but of course snapped a few photos.
We got on the bus and proceeded back to Amsterdam, still full and happy. It was such a lovely and efficient way to see the beautiful countryside. The city really is wonderful, but absolutely build in a day to enjoy the culinary and lifestyle delights of the Dutch countryside!
Next up is my sister’s first visit to Switzerland – which includes her skydiving adventure, wine tasting, and our first visit to the Cailler Chocolate Factory and Gruyeres!