spent some time here, under a pseudonym, as he toured western Europe on a quest to modernize Russia. The monument in the center of the square features the young tsar practicing the craft of shipbuilding.
When I chose to finish my visit to The Netherlands in Zaandam, I was all set for an idyllic pedal through the countryside, including a visit to the charming historic enclave of Zaanse Schans.
Prince Bernhard bridge is a modern drawbridge over the River Zaan, complete with separated cycling lanes and paths for pedestrians.
The windmills restored at Zaanse Schans were at the forefront of the industrial revolution, which made the location seem particularly fitting as I passed modern plants. I picked up the scent of chocolate a few blocks before I passed some chocolate-related factories, and thought back to a video I'd watched on the plane that included a piece about an artist who builds “smell maps” of cities (including Amsterdam).
De Huisman, where I learned about spice grinding, I chose well in touring De Kat.
Had I given much thought to it, I might have realized that the sails are not fixed in a particular orientation. To take best advantage of the shifting winds, they can be “steered”—rotated around the tower to catch the wind. These original windmills translated wind energy directly into mechanical force—to pound or grind, or even to saw logs into lumber. Ingenious.