Hey guys! Welcome back!
So let's pick up where we left off last time, and if you missed the last installment of Day 1 in Amsterdam, you can read it here: https://travelfeed.io/travelfeed/@seangold/my-european-adventure-part-5-amsterdam-and-the-netherlands-day-1
I had just returned to the hostel and met my bunk mates after exploring Amsterdam at night camera free. One was from South Korea, and the other from Brazil. We chatted for a bit and exchanged stories and perspectives, and of course I got into politics with the guy from Brazil on the election of their new President, and that was interesting. I also mentioned I that I was heading to see the windmills the next day, and the girl from Korea had said that she had been there so she gave me a few tips which came in handy! But it's time for bed now.
I woke up early, grabbed the ferry across the river to downtown and went to find my train towards Zaandam. Took me a few minutes, but I figured out the ticket machine and bought my ticket, it was only like 7$ or so for a round trip ride! Next I had to go find my track, which was a bit tough as I was still not very used to finding trains and knowing which train is which here, but I found it and was on my way!
I got off the train and headed to where the first windmill was, not too far from the station.
It was pretty damn amazing seeing my first real life windmill! It really cemented the feeling of being in some far away magical land that one only reads about. There was also a map nearby showing the area and offering some context and history of the area, which was very interesting. Some info such as there used to be thousands of windmills here back in the day, and this was the most industrious area of Europe! Here's a shot I took of it for reference while I was exploring.
From there, I began to make my way towards the fields that had the most active windmills, but first I explored some of the city area, which was pretty cool in it's own right. There was also another windmill in the downtown area.
So cool! After that, I wandered around the town a bit more, checking out the architecture and home styles. I was also looking for a bite to eat, as I hadn't had time for breakfast yet. While exploring, I noticed there were stickers on almost every door, with 2 options on them. After some Googling, I found out they are ways to opt in or out of advertisement mail and junk mail, which I found to be an awesome idea! I also came across this little Netherlands style curb side library!
After exploring the area a bit, I noticed some clouds were rolling in, and there was a chance for rain, so I decided to make my way to the windmills before the weather had a chance to change for the worse. I doubled back, found the bridge and began to cross over towards the windmills, and was met with huge gusts of wind! Oh boy! This should be great for the windmills! But also, could stop me from flying my drone. Hmmm. Let's see.
So as soon as I get there, there's a small little village, and the first thing you smell is fresh hot chocolate! Wow, does that smell good! But it's probably a tourist trap, and pricey, so I avoided it at first, but then my curiosity got the best of me. It wasn't too bad, most chocolates were 1 euro or so, so I grabbed a couple, including the windmill you saw above. Can you spot the one that doesn't fit? :P
From there, I followed the path along the water, going by all the windmills, mostly looking for a place to launch my drone without a lot of people around. Here's some of the photos I got from the walk.
So cool, right? So I finally get to the end of the path, and the wind is really blowing, like in the 30mph range or so, and I was quite nervous about flying the drone. But I thought, this may be my only time I come here, and I had to at least try. So I found a spot, set up and launched!
At first, the drone drifted quite a bit, and I got some strange messages, something about the GPS not reading correctly, and it was going up and down a bit, and I was freaked out. I forget what I did, but I did something and it cleared away. I let it hover to judge how it would handle the wind and it seemed to be doing fine, so then I headed off towards the windmills with it!
The view was amazing! I was really tempted to try and fly through the windmill blades, but with flying so far and with the strong winds, it was obvious it would be foolish to try it. So I grabbed a few shots and some video then began heading back. Now, the windmill next to where I launched was locked shut, so it wasn't moving and I decided to get some close ups of it.
I decided that was good enough for today, so I landed and began making my way back. On the way I saw a man come out on the deck of the windmill, and began to do something. I wasn't sure at first what he was doing, but then I saw the whole windmill rotating, and he was adjusting the direction of the blades to catch the wind better. So cool!
After that, I headed back towards the main road, and looked back for one last glimpse of these amazing structures! And I saw the opportunity for one last beautiful image!
From there, I decided to walk about 3 miles back to the Zaandam train station and see more of the cities to get a better feel for the suburban areas and such, it was a cool walk. Then I got to Zaandam and was greeted by their interesting architecture, such as this.
I explored Zaandam a bit, but then the rain started to come in and I decided it was time to catch the train back to Amsterdam. But wait, which train is it again? Oh boy, here we go....
Luckily, I asked a girl there and she was able to help me, since she was heading the same way! We boarded the train and chatted the 30 minute ride away. Her English was perfect, and it was so interesting hearing about her life here and such. After getting back to Amsterdam, I decided I had to capture her portrait, so I ran after her and had her pose for me.
From there I decided to explore and photograph the beautifully rain soaked shimmering stone streets of Amsterdam!
Such a beautiful city! Especially on a rainy overcast day. But that was enough for now, I needed to recharge, both myself and my equipment, since my night will be spent traveling to my next destination, and I needed to be prepared. So I headed back to my hostel and recharged till night fall.
I checked out, and said goodbye to my hostel and my new friends, and headed back towards the next part of my journey, but first, I needed some photos of Amsterdam at night.
Well, it's about that time, so I grab one last order of french fries from a street vendor and make my way towards Amsterdam Centraal for my train. It was time to say goodbye to this brief visit of this beautiful city and move on. But on the way, a souvenir shop caught my eye, and I think it's a fitting image to wrap this blog up on :D
As always, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!
Until next time!