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While my parents were here we took a day trip to Marken, a small island just a short bus ride away from Amsterdam. It’s a bit of a tourist destination along with nearby Volendam and Edam (which we also visited).

Marken is now connected to the mainland by a dike, so we were able to take the bus directly there. Before 1957, however, the only way for the local “Markers” to get to Holland was by boat. The island is known as a bit of folkoric history, as traditional houses, costumes, speech and habits have historically thrived here. Since the dike was built and modernity continues pressing, the traditions are slowly dying. In the Marker Museum we saw re-creations of the elaborate costumes people wore.

The day we went was pretty windy, cold and a bit rainy, but it gave us the island almost to ourselves, so we wandered the empty streets happily. The houses are all wooden, and many of them by the harbor are actually on stilts to keep them off the water. The little town was full of the sweetest views: those dark painted houses with white trim, lace curtains, wooden clogs full of flowers, cats in windows and bikes in alleyways; everywhere I looked prompted an “aww…”

See what I mean? These idyllic views make me want to throw my cell phone in the water and go frolic in a bonnet with some fluffy lambs. I’d have to learn how to frolic in clogs, but I think I’m up to the challenge.

The small island only took up a few hours (I’d like to go back on a sunnier day!), and afterward we caught a ferry through the sea to Volendam. Another cute little town, and another post!