Netherlands part 4: Volendam
After Breda (in case you weren’t tuned in yet, check out the previous part of my journey in Netherlands part 3: Breda), we visited a very touristic area of Netherlands, it’s the fishermen town of Volendam! Where one of the “must do” thing there is to take photos wearing the traditional costume of the Dutch fisherman, complete with the iconic “wooden shoes”. Volendam is located on the north side of Netherlands, not far from Amsterdam.
When we first got here, I can tell that this place surely is very touristic, compared with Breda, from the many street marker with directions & the souvenir shops. When I was in Breda, trying to find a souvenir shop selling one of those fridge magnets or keychains with the windmill logo saying “Netherlands” or “Holland”, was quite impossible, and I must’ve been look silly to ask the people on any store about where can I get them there. But here? in Volendam, pretty much all the stores has them, even some of the restaurants sell them too, hahaha.
One of the memories that day was that we met an Indonesian family, which is quite rare for us to see a fellow Indonesian on some advanced countries. I guess that also applies to other fellow developed countries,but maybe this is just my own opinion, thinking of how freaking expensive for us people of developed countries to be able to visit advance countries on the other side of the planet! The difference of the currencies between Indonesian Rupiah to Euro! *inhale exhale* If I didn’t get that bonus money from my previous job, then I wouldn’t be there in Europe the first place, hahaha. Ah.. I miss my old job.. why? because I get to travel to many different places to do different kinds of projects, & I don’t have to pay for the flights & airbnbs *grin* Well,I hope someday I can get a job where I can travel, and still get paid for it! my ULTIMATE DREAM… *stars blinking in my eyes*
Ehem!! Anyway! Back to reality here. So what’s the first thing you would want to do if you were excited to go to Volendam? Is it to try the delicacies the raw herring fish? Or is it to take a picture wearing the huge wooden shoes? Well, for me, it was to do a photoshoot wearing the traditional dutch fishermen clothes, hahaha. I remember some of my online friends told me “you haven’t visited Netherlands yet if you didn’t take pictures with the windmills or wearing the clothes” hahaha, alright alright, a little part of me screaming in disgust “Aaaahh!! This is too touristic!!”, but most of my other parts are like “Well, you’re already here, aren’t you? Don’t miss a chance that’s right in front of you! & besides, you are a tourist, for now, right?” :p
I remember I showed this photo to a Dutch friend who is living in Cambodia, I thought she’d feel proud when she saw it (like how usually Indonesian would feel if we see any foreigners wearing our traditional clothes), but she laughed, and felt embarrased by saying “oh I’m sorry the clothes are silly… they look, ridiculous (continue laughing) Oh I’m sorry it make you all look silly (covering her face with her hands as if those clothes are a humiliation of her country)”, then I said to her “oh no no don’t be, don’t you know that people are proud to able to wear those even just for a few minutes? we get to taste your culture, & it’s one of joy of being able to foreign places. don’t be ashamed of your own culture..”, yet she still determined that those clothes are stupid, hahaha. Oh well, I guess everybody has their own opinion, huh?
After we had the photoshoot, we continue to stroll around the pier area to take a closer look to the boats, and also to walk on the outer skirt of the pier. The wind was quite aggressive to our hair, making it hard for me to take a good pictures where we don’t look like we were being strangled by our own hair, get the picture? (no pun intended)
We found a cheese factory here in Volendam, right on the main street near the pier. When we came in, it looks more like a big cheese shop than a factory, because what we saw first when we enter is that the whole floor displaying the many kinds of cheese they’re selling, and mostly they are Gouda cheese.
You can enter this shop free of charge, and when you go down on the lower level inside the shop, you can watch a show (I think it occurs every hour, & the show was about 10 minutes) on small stage with a host wearing a traditional Dutch clothes, explaining every steps on how to make the gouda cheese.
The host speaks both Dutch and English, and apparently because at the that time there was a group of tourists from spain, the host also spoken lots of Spanish while explaining. She was quite entertaining as she slipped in some humor while explaining to us. At the end of the show, she will slice a Gouda cheese she’s been using while explaining, and give them to us the viewers, right from her hands.
After the show, we visitors go back up to the shop and have stroll around, take a bite of the free samples around, and buy some of the cheese we liked the most. They also sell the utensils to slice the cheese, and some cheese-themed snacks.
And here’s a little extra, before I moved on to the next country :
The Windmill in Zundert
Before me and mom embarked on a journey to the next country, France, I decided I need to take a picture of the icon of the Netherlands before we moved on. Although we are going back to the Netherlands again at the end of our trip, but I just can’t wait for it until the end, so then I took a walk with my friend who showed me an old and lonely windmill (why lonely? because it was just one windmill on that area) named “De Akkermolen Zundert”. It was quite easy to reach there from my friend’s house, because she lived in Zundert, and it was just a 15 minutes walk from home.
So, overall, the country of Netherlands, for me? Is one of the cleanest country I’ve ever seen in my life! The people are also very friendly, and it is easy to start a conversation with them or simply to ask them for directions or help (they understand English very well). They are punctual people, and they looove to discuss about the weather 😀 But really, one of the main reasons why I would like to go back there again, is the people. I’ve made a lot of new friends there in Netherlands (Ok Ok, having my friend married a Dutch guy also a big reason why I can get that many new friends there, but really, they are very warm and welcoming people), for which who knows that I may have another future prospect to return there again other than just travel there for a vacation.
Next stop, Paris. Stay tuned as my journey continues to the capital of France! (^_^)