Only this month you can travel the ancient trade route between Zaandam en Amsterdam on the Zaanboot. Indeed on a boat, because that’s the way we used to travel and transport goods in Holland. The boat trip is a try out, therefore it runs only in September 2012.
At pier 14, behind the Central Station you get on a historic ferryboat from about 1930. In 45 minutes it will take you along the Amsterdam IJ river, ancient factories, wind mills, historic wooden houses and all kind of ships. All of these of course in between the modern buildings, houses and roads that are build along this route, but that doesn’t make it less interesting.
Once in Zaandam you can take the next boat back, or take a walk through the city. Zaandam and its surrounding villages, called Zaanstreek are not that well known to foreigners, but it is called the motor behind the success of the Dutch Golden Age and it is still a very important production centre with lots of top food factories in Holland. Or visit Zaanse Schans, an open air museum with authentic Dutch windmills, houses, factories and shops.