When we first arrived in Amsterdam we’d planned to rent bikes and spend a day biking into the countryside to see windmills. Unfortunately, it was a lot colder and rainier than anticipated so that plan didn’t work out.
However, there is one windmill on the East side of the city, not far from the Maritime Museum. And bonus: it’s attached to a local brewery!
The De Gooyer windmill is not opened to the public so you can’t go inside, but you can certainly look at it. It is the tallest wooden mill in the Netherlands and has a fairly serious history:
The original mill was constructed in the 16th century. After destruction and some movements, in 1725 the mill stood on the site of the current Orange-Nassau barracks. Finally, in 1814 the mill moved again to its current location on Funenkade atop the stone base of a watermill that had been demolished in 1812.
After the mill had fallen into disrepair, it was purchased in 1928 by the city of Amsterdam for 3200 guilders and restored. Due to the lack of power during the Second World War the mill served as a corn mill for Amsterdam.
In the building beside the windmill is a brewery with a large outdoor seating area. They serve a variety of beer, along with some traditional Dutch snacks. We ordered some snacks and a flight of beers, then spent a couple of hours relaxing in the sun beside a real windmill.
After our afternoon snack we went on another long walk, eventually ending up at dinner. This was another Esther recommendation, but it wasn’t as successful as her previous recommendation. The restaurant Greetje fancies itself as a places that serves “elevated Dutch food”. The restaurant was lovely and the service was great, but the food just wasn’t that good. It was served in such a way that suggested they thought it was high-end, but the flavours just didn’t compute. Or perhaps my tastebuds aren’t sophisticated enough!
In any case, our last day in Amsterdam included a couple of lacklustre experiences, but nothing can dampen your spirits when you’re never more than 5 minutes away from breathtaking canal views. We ended our night with a long and lovely walk home, with a pit stop for a few drinks.
Overall, it was a really great trip. We had a lot of fun, learned a ton, and actually made time to relax quite a bit. Our nightlife was decidedly more low key than it was on our trip to Madrid, which meant we had plenty of time to sleep. We don’t usually make time to rest and restore when we go on trips, so this was a nice change of pace. We’re recommending Amsterdam to all our friends and family because it’s so lovely and so easy to manage. I’m sure we’ll be back again one day!