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  • Day61

    Five Villages on a 10€ Bus Pass!

    July 6, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Today Alison, Nancy, and I headed north to visit villages lining the western edge of the Zuider Zee (southern sea). We bought a 10 euro bus day pass at Amsterdam Centraal station to begin our journey.

    Our first stop was the tiny village of Marken. The town is one of those places that are so cute, one wonders if people actually live there. Sort of like Bruges or Disneyland. We got a shot of some LBBs (little brown birds) waiting for the crumbs from the cookie that came with our cappuccinos.

    In Marken we caught a ferry to Volendam. Another, slightly bigger, quintessentially dutch town with a seaside strip that had suffered the same fate as the previous town. Shop after shop of kitch and fried food. We quickly began walking north toward the next village and were rewarded with a pleasant town with lovely houses and canals just a block away from the tourist strip. Volendam was actually a very nice place! At one point we passed an elementary school as it was letting out for the weekend. Lots of parents on bikes picking up their offspring. I turned to look at the school and it was named after J. F. Kennedy. Nice.

    Our walk wended north along a canal to the town of Edam. Famous for its cheese. At the top of the village was the Grote Kerk or Big Church. It wasn't being used for services any longer but there was an art exhibit being set up for the season. I took some shots of a few of the more formidable pieces and they can be seen here:

    I also had one of those sublime experiences sitting on a bench outside of that church. The view was of flat green fields framed by an old bridge and stretching out in the distance. A cow grazed on the near field, occasionally scratching its chin on willows by the bank of a small canal. Very pleasant.

    From Edam we bussed it north to Hoorn a base for the Dutch East India company. Extraordinary town with lots of 16th century buildings and a rather fancy shopping area. I've included some more photos of Hoorn here:

    Last stop was the town of Monnickendam where they were preparing for a weekend of traditional Dutch inland sailing boats. They were all amassed in the little harbor. We had pretty good fish and chips while watching the goings on.

    All in all a very pleasant day.
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