Actors receive tourists from Singapore at Zaanse Schans

Guides and actors crawl into the skin of ancient Zaandam characters as they guide the hundreds of thousands of tourists around the Zaanse Schans. With a joint initiative of ‘Daily Walking Theater’ and ‘Windmill Cruises’ the history of the Zaanstreek becomes an experience: actors tell the stories from their protagonist. Those who make a cruise experience the story as the mills could tell.

On Wednesday, a group of 36 tourists from Singapore let themselves be surprised by the group of actors. They followed the mayors walk there and were given assignments along the way.
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Actors receive tourists from Singapore at Zaanse Schans

Tsar, Kaatje and soldier among the tourists
© Photos Pascal Fielmich
A group photo of all teams from Singepore who participated in the ‘Mayor’s walk’ (mayor walk).
11 Apr. 2018

With great fanaticism the group of tourists from Singapore runs from order to assignment, from costume to costume. A4 sheets in their hands. ‘Do you know where house number 7 is’, they ask. But they already see something recognizable: Tsar Peter the Great, who walks across the Zaanse Schans at the level of the Albert Heijn shop.

He tells his story and seduces two tourists into an exciting clog dance. On the side giggling the other participants of the group.
Klompendans and handjeklap at the request of Tsar Peter the Great (r).

Klompendans and handjeklap at the request of Tsar Peter the Great
Klompendans and handjeklap at the request of Tsar Peter the Great (r).

It is not common for the Russian tsar to stroll across the Kalverringdijk. Not yet. However, mayor mayor Kaatje Slagter regularly shuffles over the Schans. For example in the person of guide and actress Ingrid Marsman or Toos Smit-van Feggelen. Ingrid is the power behind ‘Daily Walking Theater’: a daily tour of the Zaanse Schans, complete with a guide in traditional costume. Today, the daily routine is replaced by an extensive role-playing game because a group of 36 tourists from Singapore visit the Zaanse Schans and made a special reservation for this occasion. Normally, Ingrid Marsman or her team runs six tours a day or leads private companies around. Tokyo Marine Insurance.

Tokyo Marine Insurance

This is a company of the Tokyo Marine Insurance Group from Singapore. The employees of this sales department have achieved top goals there and are allowed to go to Amsterdam for a short week as a reward (with their family members).

Manager Michael Tan is very enthusiastic about this tour. He calls it an experience how history and culture are told here. While browsing through his phone, he shows dozens of photos from the past few days. No, they do not ‘Europe in five days’, they concentrate very consciously on the capital and immediate surroundings. The past few days they visited Volendam (which produced a beautiful group photo in traditional costume), the Keukenhof and also the Van Gogh Museum and a diamond polishing factory are still on the planning.

Fellow traveler Shane Pua tells us about the cruise through the Amsterdam canals and the walk over the Red Light District. No, he is not left behind in that place: ,, I am here with my mother, so you understand … “, he says with a shy wink.

Pua tells us about the cruise through the Amsterdam canals

Ingrid Marsman lives in the Zeilenmakerspad 1 building, opposite the De Huisman mustard mill. It is ‘Mayor’s Mansion’ or the mansion of the mayor. The garden is now filled with visitors and the group of actors Jeroen Breeuwer (as Claude Monet), Adriana Muredda (Spanish soldier), Bart Sluijter (Peter the Great and also guide of Zaantours) and of course Toos Smit, who walks around in original costume.

The six teams of Tokyo Marine eagerly follow the route over the Zaanse Schans. During this so-called ‘Mayor’s Walk’, they will of course visit the most important attractions such as the mills and the wooden shoe factory. The actors are drawn up on strategic points.

Claude Monet paints a row of windmills from the mustard mill, his donkey placed by the window and past the puffing millstones along which visitors shuffle their feet. Jeroen Breeuwer, who plays Monet, knows the Zaanse Schans in his thumbs. He once lived there and his father was VVV president. Acting, photographing, writing, Breeuwer has it all in the fingers. His historical knowledge is renowned. His lousy gaze seduces many tourists to a cheerful reaction.

2 touristen met een spaanse soldaat

In the green field is the Spanish soldier who wants to take on the Dutch enemy with a fierce look. Two South Korean tourists like to take a photo with this warrior armed to the teeth. Tsar Peter the Great tells about his time in Zaandam, his knowledge about the wood sawmills that saw boards for building ships.

Gaby Lovers of Windmill Cruises is also passing by. As a descendant of the well-known canal boat family in Amsterdam, he is now involved in the cruises from the Zaanse Schans.
‘Heroes in sight’

The collaboration with Ingrid Marsman is in the jointly telling of the history of Zaandam via ‘Heroes in sight’. “And the heroes are the mills”, Lovers says. “When we are passing by they tell the story.” With a walk and explanation by the characters and a cruise, the tourists get a vivid picture of the industrial development of the area and of all the secrets of the mills and of the people who lived here. . Especially for this is also an app in development, which in addition to spoken word also the history in photos brings into view.

poseren in de tuin

Toos Smit is the pivotal point of this day as Kaatje Slagter. She is relaxed with Ingrid Marsman (also in traditional costume) on the bench in the garden, which borders the busiest crossroads of the Zaanse Schans. The women are photographed from all sides. Telephoto lenses, mobile phones, selfie sticks are aimed at the duo. The chicken bridge over the ditch is overpopulated.

When the six teams of Tokyo Marine have finished their journey of discovery they will be welcomed by Kaatje Slagter in her authentic mayor’s home, with coffee, tea and slices of pigeoncater. The party can view almost all rooms and the beautiful garden. Ingrid Marsman has filmed the story of the mayor’s house with a friend and this film is shown during the tour.

A new busload of tourists crawls across the bridge to De Huisman mill. They have to deal with the map. In the garden, the company from Singapore prepares for a group photo and another and another. Nobody wants to miss such a special moment, the mobile phones go from hand to hand to capture such a photo on each copy.

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