Think Netherlands and the first thing that comes to your mind is Amsterdam, water canals and tulips. But a visit to the Dutch countryside promises an equally fascinating experience too. Replete with oodles of bucolic charm and pretty pastoral scenes, it is a great place to experience some breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Most villages are incredibly picturesque with watery meadows, windmills and lush green vegetation. And one such gorgeous village is Marken which is located in the municipality of Waterland in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. Here are some captures from my recent visit:
We reached this quaint fishing village by a 30 minute ferry which departed from the centre of Volendam. The first thing that one sees when in Marken are the authentic, colourful timber houses and the fishing harbour. Most of the houses are wooden piles to prevent flooding.
Narrow alleys, drawbridges and fruit laden trees add to the charm in this little village which is best explored on foot.
Best known for its wooden clog factory and museum, a visit to Marken provides an insight into Dutch culture. Wooden shoes or clogs were commonly used by Dutch labourers since the 13th century. They were sturdy, strong and easy to use. When stuffed with hay, they provided the much needed warmth and comfort during winter.
When in Marken you can visit the shoe making factory and also witness a live demo of shoes being made. It is interesting to note that while these shoes were handcrafted during the yesteryears, now they are machine made.
When in the factory, you can shop for souvenirs galore, this includes wooden shoes, windmills, blue pottery and the like.
The museum is a good place to revisit some Dutch traditions which include costumes used by the native people during the past as well as utensils and vessels used by them.
Read this article to know more about Netherlands’ country side villages.