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29 May 2012

The Splendor of the Seaside Village of Marken in The Netherlands

Welcome to the seaside village of Marken in the Netherlands.  All content is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited. 

Continuing my intrepid exploration through The Netherlands with Viking River Cruises, our journey takes us to the charming coastal town of Marken nestled on the shores of the Markermeer—one of three destinations on our Volendam, Edam and Marken afternoon excursion. After we spent the first part of the afternoon in delicious Edam, we arrived in this picturesque fishing village rich in Dutch traditions dating back hundreds of years. The quaint architecture of the houses, shops and cafes, perfectly preserves its time-honored past and for me, it was love at first sight the moment we arrived in the parking area and began our tour through the idyllic countryside that would eventually give way to the sea. Home to approximately 2,000 residents, Marken is little more than one square mile of land connected to the mainland by the Zeedijk—a causeway constructed in 1957 to the mainland— and very easy to navigate in just a few hours. Join me on this tour through the enchanting village of Marken, The Netherlands.


As soon as we disembarked our motor coach, this picturesque setting welcomed us to Marken.

History

After a major storm in the 13th century, and the fact that the surrounding peat bogs succumbed to excessive mining, Marken was transformed into an island and instantly caught the attention of the monks who saw this newfound insular location as an opportunity to build their monasteries. After occupying the land during the 13th and 14th centuries, the monks left when Amsterdam purchased Marken in the latter part of the 14th century.


Captivating scenes around every corner greet you with the charm and essence of Marken, The Netherlands.  

During the 17th century, Marken prospered with its booming fishing and shipping industries and the village's economy thrived until the early 20th century, when in 1932, the Zuiderzee or the Southern Sea was cut off from its northern counterpart by the Afsluitdijk or enclosure dam project, and thus put an end to this seaside town's primary source of income. Today, tourism drives the Marken economy but so does its cheese and wooden clogs manufacturing as well.

Today's village of Marken


The village of Marken has retained much of its original character and color with most of its buildings and houses still resting upon dikes or pilings.

As you make your way in and around Marken, you'll find that the village has retained much of its original character and color with most of the buildings and houses intact and either resting upon dikes or pilings—reminders of the onslaught of flooding endured by these Dutch habitants throughout history. Little pathways meander in and around these charming dwellings and canals cut through the landscape adding more beauty to this picturesque Dutch village as you will see.


Little pathways meander in and around these charming dwellings and canals cut through the landscape adding more beauty to this picturesque Dutch village.

This little village of shops and cafes lines the shores of the tiny port of Marken in The Netherlands.  

Finally, we made our way to the little fishing port where we were to board the Marken Express launch back to Volendam at 4:30 p.m. This daily ferry service operates between Marken and Volendam from mid-March to early November and runs 5.50€ for a one-way 30-minute trip and 8.00€ roundtrip.

With more than an hour to spare, we walked around the little shops and cafes and of course indulged ourselves in a few purchases and gastronomical delights not to mention a few more pictorial souvenirs of our Dutch-seaside surroundings.


Quaint architecture of the houses, shops and cafes, perfectly preserves its time-honored Dutch heritage.


Interior of the little cafe where we enjoyed cappuccino and espresso. 


Warm and inviting interiors of the seaside cafe beckon but due the glorious day outside, not one patron can be found indoors, including us! 

At 4:30, we climbed aboard the Marken Express for what turned out to be a frigid voyage across the Markermeer Sea back to Volendam where our "Viking Odin" longship awaited our arrival with the promise of another scrumptious meal and libations. Our journey on the Marken Express began with standing-room only on the top deck but after we were underway, the biting cold wind became too much for most of us to endure so the majority of our intrepid adventurers retreated to the warm confines below replete with hot or cold beverages! I however, braved the upper deck…completely stupid I know…but it's not every day you get to sail across the Markermeer en-route to Volendam. Once we arrived, Dutch women donning traditional attire offered up bountiful trays of fresh herring with onions and pickles—a superb ending to this chilling crossing of the Markermeer!


Dutch women donning traditional attire offered up bountiful trays of fresh herring with onions and pickles—a superb ending to this chilling crossing.

Next stop on our Viking River Cruises circuit is Volendam. See you soon.


Enjoying cappuccino and an espresso with Mattie Bamman aka @ravenoustravelr.

Additional Reading:

18 comments:

  1. Very very cute! I would love to visit some of these places in the Netherlands--I really like their culture and lifestyle.

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    1. Hi there Jenna and thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You know, I think the whole of Netherlands is just cute with so many enchanting villages to be seen and experienced. I sure hope you make it there one day soon!! Thx again!

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  2. This is the kind of Netherlands experience that I long for, but didn't get to have when I was in the country for a short visit. I love that Marken has kept so much of its character and charm. Wonderfully picturesque place.

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    1. Hi there Cathy and thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts. I was very fortunate to see the charming Dutch with some extra time to soak up all the picturesque settings in this wondrous country.

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  3. I love those brightly coloured buildings - charming is the perfect way to describe them! Marken looks like the perfect place to spend a day.

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    1. Hi there Lisa and thanks so much for stopping by!! I totally agree with you that the entire village of Marken is charming...and yes, a perfect way to spend a day or even just an afternoon. It's very lovely! Thank you for sharing your comments as well.

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  4. Those houses are adorable! They remind me of my old doll house as a kid.

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    1. Hi Erin...I know what you mean! I wanted to tuck one into my suitcase and bring it home...better yet, leave it there and I can move in right away! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I really appreciate it!

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  5. How pretty! I went to the Netherlands many years ago a loved the place. Didn't see Marken, though. Time to go back! :-)

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    1. Oh mi amor...grazie mille for all of your comment LUV over the past few days. Yes, you must go back but I believe that you are on your way to Indonesia and Myanmar!! How wonderful!!!

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  6. What an awesome post highlighting the splendor of this charming Dutch village. The best places found traveling are sometimes not the Amsterdams, Parises, and Londons, but the Markens and other delightful towns and villages. This is true overseas as well as here at home.

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    1. Hi there Ted and totally agree with you on all accounts!! I am so fortunate to have experienced the smaller villages of Edam, Marken and Volendam on my voyage with Viking. An incredible time through and through! Thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts!

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  7. So pretty and so fresh! Dutch architecture and design has much to recommend it. Marken looks totally liveable - and loveable Great pics, Jeff, I can't wait to see more of Holland through your lens!

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    1. Hi Lesley and I couldn't agree with you more! I am convinced that the Netherlands has so much to offer and around every corner is a picturesque Kodak moment in the making! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your kind words and compliments!

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  8. Hi Jeff
    Great Photos!

    BTW did you see the graveyard by the little church? Only numbered graves which is very uncommon here in NL.

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    1. Hi there Guido and thanks so much for all of your kind words! Sadly, I missed the little graveyard...oh well...only one way to fix that...I'll have to go back right away. I bet it was fascinating! Thx for telling me about it!

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    2. A couple of years ago I did the same trip with a couple of friends and I believe I've made a graveyard photo....will upload it to my Flickr account if I find it and give you a notice.

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    3. Hi again and I can't thank you enough for going through all the trouble. Have a wonderful day!

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!