Should tourists walk to the Zaanse Schans?

From my window I see tourists on rental bikes and sometimes in an electric rickshaw going to the Zaanse Schans and then I wonder, “should tourists walk to the Zaanse Schans?”. In fact many actually walk all the way. But some clever business men started renting bicyles to tourists and one started a electric rickshaw taxi service. But is this necessary and are those tourist duped?

So I open my trusted Google maps and just let Google calculate the distance from the railway station Koog-Zaandijk to the entance of the famous open air museum Zaanse Schans. And what was the result? A mere 900 meters. A healthy person could walk that in less than fifteen minutes.

Taking a bike may save you some time, but not much. As a tourist you’re not used to the frantic Dutch traffic and you most likely have to stop a lot in order not to get in trouble. And you have to wait for the traffic lights just as much as a pedestrian. But most importantly you’re going to miss out at some photo opportunities the walkers enjoy.

First of all there is the windmill the “Bleeke Dood” (pale death). You’ll reach this windmill in less than 5 minutes. Walking on the other side of the street, which you will coming from the railway station, you are well positioned for a photo-op.
Walk to the Zaanse Schans

The windmill the “Bleeke Dood” is on the foot of the Juliana bridge across the river Zaan. It’s a big new modern bridge, you can’t miss it and you have to cross it to reach the Zaanse Schans. From this bridge you have beautiful view on the east shore of the river Zaan where the Zaanse Schans is located. Are you crossing the bridge on a bike? Prepare for a hassle and busy traffic which will dictate your course of action.

Walk to the Zaanse Schans over the Juliana bridge

Now you’re almost there. Enjoy your visit at the Zaanse Schans. When you’re done, on the way back you can grab a bite at two excellent bakeries. First a bit north of the Bleeke Dood at the other side of the busy crossing there is “Het Zaanse bakkertje”. On the same road back to the railway station you find “Bakkerij de Wijn“, a famous pastry shop in the Zaan region. You might have spotted it on your way to the Zaanse Schans.

So don’t spend your money on a stupid bike or rickshaw. But spend it on good food. And don’t forget to take some pictures with your iPhone, Nexus, Huawei or Samsung Galaxy.

Bishamon Buddhist deity and a fishy Koinobori scale design

Updating tags and description of old products can be boring, so I thought it time to add a Bishamon pattern and a Koinobori scale design. These are two traditional Japanese designs you find in different variations.

First the Bishamon design. Its peculiar trianle patterns is said to be derived of the Buddhist deity, Bishamon. For me it makes a very pleasing tile pattern. I will try different colors and see what works best. Mostly I reuse colors of other Japanese which I sold earlier.

If you ever visit Japan you will notice those windsocks in the shape of a fish, also named Koinobori. Most of its body is covered in fish scale shapes. I made some time ago a Koinobori scale design and I sold a couple of products. By chance I came upon another version of a Koinobori scale and I liked it a lot. Primarily because it was a type of Delft ware blue on a white background. Also the line work was better than the Koinobori scale design I made earlier. An example on an Apple iPhone 6 case.

A small remark about the Zazzle marketplace search update earlier this year. I updated a lot of tags and expanded the descriptions. It is still unclear if it had any effect. The designs which didn’t moved stil don’t show any sign of sales. On the whole, Februari was dismally slow, but March made up a lot. Have already had some sales for April, but it looks my sales are flat lining for now.