Thursday, April 12, 2012

Being Tourists

Last week, when we picked up my mom from the airport, we had a few hours to kill while she fought off jet lag, so we took the train up to a tourist area called Zaanse Schans (pronouced "Skaans").  There are homes (now shops) set up like an old village and some re-positioned windmills that demonstrate the variety of mills in Holland.
It was cold and dreary when we started out and we were lugging mom's luggage and carrying our own backpack from our overnight trip to Haarlem the night before.   But we pressed on.

We've been enjoying a unique perspective of Holland thus far--we are visitors, but not really tourists.  We are living among people in a village that has a regular daily life and rhythm.  Oh, I have no doubt that we still stick out here--anyone who has heard my broken Dutch or watched us try to lock our bikes, or seen us eyeing the butcher counter with curiosity knows that we're not locals.  They are just too polite to let on.

But in this wonderful arrangement of finding a "home in Holland" we get to go our own way--on our own time.  We aren't herded in and out on the tour busses.   And we shop where we want for what we want--we aren't guided toward the kitschy tourist stuff.

But for this morning, we were tourists.  We learned how to make cheese and then we were tempted into the cheese shop to take some home with us.  Lucky for me--there's a cheese shop down the block and around the corner in Nijkerk.

We visited one of the specialized mills--the only remaining mill in the world that crushes chalk stone to be used for making art paints (among other things.)  Many of Europe's famous painters got their paint powder from this mill.

We saw a museum of wooden shoes--some beautiful, some funny...
Sunday Klompen
Wedding Klompen
Roller Klompen
Then watched as someone demonstrated how to make wooden shoes--

And then we were ushered into the show room where we could buy a pair--or not.  We all liked the same pair!!

The best part of the day was lunch at the pannenkoeken house.  Yum.
(I seem to be saying "yum" a lot lately!)

It was worth the trip out there to see a few of the traditional things and to get us all walking for the day, but we were glad to come "home."  And so very thankful that we have a place to call our "home" for these days.

After playing the role of Tourist for the day, I was doubly thankful for the hospitality of the Lantings, who are making it possible for us to truly live in Holland--if only for a speck of time.

1 comment:

  1. Looks familiar to us ! !
    Thanks for the nice pictures on your blog.
    Have fun, and keep on being safe.

    Jack and Jana