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.|
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.|