Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam

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December 15th 2016
Published: December 15th 2016
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Today we went from the bustling city life where their are approx 800,000 bikes (32% of city traffic - takes "Ride to Work" to the extreme) to the quiet country side at Zaanse Schans to see a working windmill. De Kat is probably the last remaining paint mill in the world.

From there we toured a Clog Factory and saw a demonstration of how the clogs are made and finally got an explanation of why they wear them!

Worn mostly in the country, they are apparently excellent for working outdoors due to their good insulation properties and strength (the Dutch version of safety boots). Best worn in winter with thick socks and in summer with thin socks. They take a bit of getting used to but apparently very comfortable when you do get used to them.

Then went on a walking tour of Edam - a beautiful little village about 1/2 hour out of Amsterdam. Back on board Scenic Amber in time for lunch and ready for departure from Amsterdam.

Attended safety briefing to find out what to do if something goes wrong. There is only one life boat on board but apparently the canals are quite shallow and if the boat sinks, as long as we get to the bar on Level 2 we will be ok.

I have had to apologise to Bruce today for convincing him to come on this tour. Since Singapore we seem to have run into a couple of Aussie sisters about 60 y.o. on a very regular basis. I dont think they are the best of travellers as they were pretty upset that the staff at the hotel in Amsterdam had booked a double bed for them. Even though they were told it was easily fixed they continued to grumble that the hotel staff had thought they were in a same sex relationship! Now every time we hear someone whinging we look around and there they are! We always seem to hear about whinging Poms but I have to say we have our own fair share of whinging Aussies on board. I honestly don't know why they bother to go on holidays - they sat on the bus and wouldn't get off to have a look around. Isn't that what holidays are for - getting out and about and looking at things you wouldn't ordinarily see!

Departed Amsterdam about 12.30pm and have just been through our first lock. Quite incredible to see how they work and was pretty grateful the gate didn't come crashing down when the ship was under it.

Cologne tomorrow and our first Christmas market.

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