Thursday, December 1, 2011

Amsterdam: Sloten Windmill (Molen van Sloten)

My first day of solo backpacking was already an adventure. I got more excited for the upcoming days. For Day 2, I was feeling bolder so I decided to do venture outside the city. An interesting place caught my eye in IAmsterdam’s booklet: Sloten Windmill. Windmills seems more interesting than touring other museums. While doing my research about Amsterdam, I learned that the windmills were quite far from the city and some are not open to the public. Apparently, Sloten Windmill is open to the public all year round.

It takes one hour to reach the windmill from the city center...according to the booklet. According to my own pace, it took longer than that. I took Tram 1 to Meer en Vaart stop. Then I had to wait fro bus 192 and stop at Langsom. The buses in Amsterdam are scheduled. The schedules are posted in the waiting sheds. I arrived at the Meer en Vaart just when bus 192 was leaving. I had to wait for 20 minutes before the next bus arrives.

Where I was waiting:
So here comes bus 192. I knew I had to ask this time if I was going to the right direction. 
Turns out I should be waiting at the OTHER side. Anubeh.  So baba agad!

The next bus was going to arrive for another 20 minutes! So that’s 40 minutes of waiting time. Time was not wasted because it gave me time to laugh at myself and observe the people going through their daily grind. Since I was alone, I didn’t bitch or complain, and there was no one bitching and complaining to me. I don’t have to think about it, and I don’t have to think about anyone else. Pretty relaxing. 

Where I should be waiting:

I think the bus ride was around 20 minutes. Finally, I landed in my destination. I was so excited when I saw the windmill – I wasn’t lost. Yay!
Kinda gloomy day
I was the only audience in the tour. There was this nice gentlemen who patiently guided me around. I say patiently because I was asking a lot of questions.He also patiently took photos of me.

I found the tour to be very educational and entertainingly informative. Just the right amount of geeky-ness was involved. The geek in woke up when I saw these mini models of the windmills. It reminded me of our high school projects.I like these more than artwork.These are really neat. The details are amazing.

My picture with one:

Let me explain all those bags around me:
1) The black shoulder bag contains my emergency snack, water, journal, cellphone, Ipod, etc.
2) The black neck bag/travel accessory contains my fund for the day, the OV-Chipkaart (bus/tram ticket), IAmsterdam card and other tickets.
3) That purple bag serves as my camera bag. I am wearing that in almost all of my pictures because I do not take it off.

Back to the windmill. The windmill pumps out the water from surrounding to keep the water at a certain level. It is really working. During my walking tour, our guide told that that Amsterdam is below sea level. It was just a fact that didn’t have any graphical equivalent until I saw this:

The sealevel is at the topmost. The water has to be kept at bay.

Let me turn the windmill!

Sloten windmill also serves as a venue for those who want to get married at a windmill.

 My guide was really nice and patient and I really had a nice time listening to his stories. I offered him a tip (10 euros since this is my only change and I was feeling generous) which he politely refused. He told me to buy something from the giftshop instead.

Took a quick look at Coopery Museum. 

The windmill has restaurants nearby but I wasn't particularly hungry yet so I headed back to the city. I was famished and decided to be adventurous and tried...McDonald's Amsterdam! This meal just cost me 8 (don't convert to Php).

This is a BALANCED meal ha. Veggies + Fries. Yum!

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