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June 11: Edam

With much of The Netherlands below sea level, a drive through the countryside shows large areas of land criss-crossed by canals. In some places, the land is being reclaimed by the government and carefully reset to a natural habitat. In others, we saw sheep grazing on the dyke, dairy cattle in the fields, and  a lot of ducks, geese, and other water birds in the canals.

We also passed a working water windmill. These are used to pump water out of the fields and back into the sea if the water level gets too high.

The second part of our tour today to us to the beautiful town of Edam, home to the famous Dutch cheese, and a much quieter place than Zaanse Schans.

We stopped for a cup of coffee and a slice of apple pie in a quaint little restaurant, that was also a hotel made up from several houses. Their garden was beautifully designed and cultivated.

We visited a cheese store, that offered us not only a tasting of their cheeses, but also a look at the historical process of weighing, transporting, and marketing the cheeses.

And, of course, I bought a selection to bring home!

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