Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to find the windmills

At breakfast Mary, our hostess suggested that we go to see the windmills. I have 3 more museums to see, but I couldn't put a plan together today so maybe a break was in order. The museums will happen tomorrow.
Mary's daughter gave us the instructions:
1. Buy a train ticket to Koog Zandijk.
(A "Day Ticket" to be used only today looked like the best option. 3.50 Euro each. The machine at the train station would not take our credit or debit card so we found one that took coins.)

2. Catch the train at track 7a for the train to Lligeest.

(Don't take the intercity train that showed up on the same track first. No pride, just ask or risk getting on the wrong train, and then having to get off, and then get on another, and wasting time, and maybe money. Anyone will do, but a train attendent is probably better than asking another tourist-I did both just to be safe.)
(Wait a minute, my instrustions looked like the end destination was "Lligeest," but if the train attendent and the sign says "Uigeest" is the correct train, have faith and get on, and then look at list of stops posted in the train also.)

Someone has to wait without worry.
3. Koog Zaandijk was the 4th stop, and it took about 15 minutes and a fast zip through a really dark tunnel.
(Nice local who explained to Chad and I and 10 other tourists where to go when we got off of the train. The windmills were past the chocolate factory, across the bridge, and to the left.)

4. Believe the local when he says a 10 minute walk, and just get going.
5. Take pictures of the windmills
(The windmills were across the bridge just like the local man told us. The other group of tourists still weren't sure because their instructions said to take bus 189 to the windmills. So they decided the man was wrong, and that they would wait for the bus that was mentioned of their instructions.)
6. Stop so the bridge can open up and let a boat pass.
6. Take more pictures of the cute town opposite the windmills.

7. Follow the signs to Aaanse Schans-Wormer because we can see the windmills.
8. Take pictures of cute shops on the way to the windmills.
(Stop for coffee and buttery cookies. I forgot to mention the chocolate factory. It wasn't pretty, but the whole town smelled like a kitchen where something chocolatey was being simmered.)

8. Take a nice walk along the lake past each windmill and take more photos.

9. Pass the group of tourists who decided to wait for the bus on our way back to the train.
10. Go back to the train station in the rain.
(Next time take the rain gear and the umbrellas when there are clouds in the sky. We got a little wet on the way back to the train. The trains come every 30 minutes, but we got to the station and a train was waiting. Asked 3 people if it was the correct train since the end destination was listed as Rotterdam and then a man said with authority, "Yes, it is going to Amsterdam Central," So we got on. Many time we have felt uncertain about what to do. Sometimes we figure it out; sometimes someone helps us. It good to remember that we don't always have to do it alone. Somehow, we muddle through.)

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