Although I came to The Netherlands for a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) conference in Amsterdam, I do have to admit that I also wanted to eat cheese, visit a few museums but most definitely, check out a few windmills - Don Quijote style!
Therefore, my first stop was picturesque Zaanse Schans; place that used to be the home to more than 300 windmills; nowadays, only a few remain. Nonetheless, here's to some breathtaking windmills:
Other than visiting and learning more about how these mills are operated, you can also stop to grab some Dutch sweets and hot chocolate (as my visit was during a frigid Springtime). Moreover, this location hosts a museum which if you blink, you might just miss it.
I do have to mention that I chose a tour company to organize all these activities. This half-day tour can be summarized here as we continued our tour to the fishing village of Volendam, where we indeed visited a cheese factory. We sampled a few of the cheeses on display and I bought a mild, delicate and aromatic melted goat cheese as well as a refined aromatic melted cheese with fresh herbs; both traditionally smoked to represent a rich Dutch tradition.
Then we moved on to Marken to visit the above mentioned wooden shoe factory.
I do admit that I am not a flower person but I decided to come to this vast garden by recommendation of a friend who insisted on me coming here to check out the Mascara plants. Needless to say, this visit to the Netherlands coincided during the 2 months this blooming garden fields are opened to the public.
... but it's not ALL flowers, this 32-acres garden also hosts a few exhibitions.
In 2015 it had an exhibition on Van Gogh while you could also head to the nearby windmill and enjoy the vistas from the top or learn more about the history behind the bulbs used at the Keukenhof or simply enjoy the stroll around the thematic gardens.
I do admit that I was impressed to see so many different types of tulips in so many different colors, shapes and sizes. Yes, some had quite huge petals!
So, for those tulips lovers [and spring flower lovers alike], please enjoy the following photo slide:
Amsterdam offers to visitors and locals alike an array of museum and although I did not budget enough time to visit them all, I made my way to the Van Gogh museum ... and then took photos of the "I AMsterdam" sign in front of the Rijksmuseum.
... and it's time to say ... ¡Hasta pronto!
Visiting Amsterdam was dope! ... but it was definitely more meaningful being able to spend some time with friends and making new acquaintances.
Toward the end of my trip/conference, I was able to visit Leiden, Den Haag and be taken to the ... Boulevard Scheveningen which I most definitely would like to return to.