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Flags are flying everywhere

Just picture it--Herman and I in the future

Housing-Zaanse Schans

Main Street-Zaanse Schans

Working Windmill

Windmills of Zaanse Schans 1

Pretty as a picture-Zaanse Schans

More housing-Zaanse Schans

Albert Hein Grocery shop

Albert Hein 1887AD

Old Time Groceries

Yummie. Yum, Yum

Garbage problem solved-no packaging!

House of Koopman 1795 AD

House of Koopman

Bedragled, Wet Stork

Windmills of Zaanse Schans 2

Dolls House?-Zaanse Schans

Windmills of Zaanse Schans 3

Windmills of Zaanse Schans 4

Picture Perfect-Zaanse Schans

Sunday 25th April 2010 Weather:-Sunshine-18 degrees

Zaanse Schans

Another fine day and we are off to the Zaanse Schans, a small village on the banks of the Zaan River, complete with tidy green houses, real working windmills, and small topical museums such as the Clock Museum and the first Albert Heijn store. This lovely little shop located in Zaanse Schans' main street, is a recreated copy of the original Albert Heijn shop in Oostzaan. Albert Heijn, was the founder of the Ahold Supermarket Chain, its beginning began when he took over a small shop from his parents in 1887. He is now the biggest grocer in the Netherlands and in one of this chain of shops here in Apeldoorn is where we do all our grocery shopping.

In the 17th and 18th century there were thousands of windmills along the dykes; sawmills, dye mills, oil mills etc that powered the Dutch economy. The Zaanse Schans village gives you a picture of what it must have been like. Not all the windmills and buildings started out in Zaanse Schans, many of them were moved here from the region as they came under threat from urban development across North Holland. The windmills are all working mills, and perform various functions, including a saw mill, a paint mill (grinding pigments), and oil mill (grinding linseed or peanuts to draw off the oil). These days the village is one of the main tourist attractions of the Netherlands and today there must have been an 'Interview a Personality in the Zaanse Schans' contest as it was overrun with TV cameras and voices from around the world.

Wandering around Zaanse Schans I came across a Stork looking for something to eat, it was a bit wet and bedraggled but I am sure that in the nice sunshine it soon managed to dry itself off. Storks fly in from Africa each year, they make their homes on tiles, chimney tops, house roofs and churches and they are not frightened of people. In Holland, the return of the Stork is a celebration, as without him where would all the children come from? Or Holland could get overrun with frogs as storks love feeding on frogs, grubs, mice and insects. The Dutch affectionately call him "Ooijevaar" and for me it was an extra bonus to see him today.

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