Last day in Amsterdam I took a last minute trip to Zaanse Schans.
All roads in Amsterdam lead to Centraal (train) Station
Once inside, ask at the information window for help with your destination. Take a picture of this! This gent doesn't speak English, a rare bird in Amsterdam. Then run to the ticket machines, pray a little that you understood where you are going. Then pray some more finding your track (7a trains are way in front of 7b trains so prepare to run). Pray onboard some kind person will tell you when to get off at the unpronounceable Koog-Zaandijk. No problem - locals are Very helpful. 4 stops later and a mere 14 minutes you are in Zaandijk!
The refreshment stand directed me from there, but lovely maps abound.
It's about a 15 minute walk
The quiet road through town is lined with blowup photos of life of yore.
There's also a nice pastry shop nearby to help allay your fears of getting lost (impossible it turns out).
This first windmill alerts you of the bulb shop and the bridge to Zaans Schans.
Such a lovely toy town is Zaanse Schans.
Some Amsterdamers will say Zaanse is a bit touristic. I didn't mind a bit.
I went into this windmill, since my time was limited...train back to Paris in a few hours etc.
There are 12 working windmills. Once fallen into disrepair and torn down, they have been rebuilt with support, donations and subsidies. You can become a member of De Zaansche Molen and help support them.
They mainly mill a full range of spices and cocoa available in the shops.
The Speculoos cookie spices(4) are sold along with molds and big figure cookies (1 euro each...why didn't I buy more?). They are not overly-sweetened like the Speculoos found in Paris.
I wish I'd stayed longer. Next time. But I was delighted to have gone thanks very much to SugarednSpiced post on Zaanse Schans.
You should go too!