As part of those several trips to the village of Voldendam on the Netherland’s Zuiderzee, we also made shorter stops in the small town of Marken on the other side of the Sea.
While’s Volendam’s claim to fame is as a former fishing town with a cheese factory, Marken is all about the clogs.
These little wooden shoes, seemingly adored by tourists throughout the Netherlands, are often made by hand on a lathe and in Volendam were historically built facing backwards to help smugglers evade police capture. I know this only because of how many times I heard this story at this shoe factory.
They’re quaint, of course, and this seems to be the feeling that Marken strives to evoke. Little Dutch museums in little wooden houses overlooking the pier, cute little cafes for those waiting on the ferry, and just enough to do to keep the crowds entertained on the 30 or 40 minute pass through town.
Soon enough, a guide hands you a ticket and shows you the way to a boat, and you’re off towards Volendam.
I’d happily go back to Marken on my own, I think, to explore off this one main path through town and maybe even walk out to the quiet looking lighthouse to the north of town.
But I sure as kanker don’t want to hear about any clogs.
I visited Marken and Volendam as a photographer working with GetYourGuide. Though the third trip up there was less than special, the villages themselves were perhaps worth a daytrip from Amsterdam. If you’re short on time, that guided tour visits both (and Zaanse Schaans) in one afternoon. Otherwise you can take Bus 311 from Amsterdam to Marken, a ferry or Bus 610 to Volendam, and then a Bus (110, 112, 118, 373) back to Amsterdam.