On about the third trip I made to take pictures of a tour to Marken and Volendam, I just couldn’t bring myself to get back on a bus and take more photos of more tourists at more windmills. With dark skies coming in over the Zuiderzee anyways, I set off for a short walk down Volendam’s coast and ended up an hour or so later at the outskirts of the little village of Edam.
A bit overwhelmed and overworked, strolling through the chill little village was exactly what I need at that precise moment. Quiet canals on the outskirts of town lead to a compact city center and a couple of housing developments.
Just off one of the canals, I even found a Dutch guy mowing the lawn of his windmill!
And to be honest, the whole town didn’t feel ‘old’ or ‘quaint’. In July and August there’s a tourist-centric weeky cheese market. There were cars parked in tiny alleys, souvenir shops on the main square, and bike tours of Australian students riding past. It wasn’t ‘off the map’ or anything so drastic. What it did feel like, though, was ‘just right’.
It felt like a real place, you know? Something that exists of itself, as compared to places like Volendam and Zaanse Schaans which (while beautiful) seem to be a ‘destination’ more than just a location. I thought it was great, and after having spent much of the past few weeks visiting the most touristy things in Holland, it was exactly what I wanted.
To visit Edam on your own, a number of regional busses (110, 112, 114, 116, 117, 118) leave from Amsterdam. I was in Volendam as part of a tour I was shooting for GetYourGuide, and from Volendam the walk takes around an hour at a very leisurely pace. In July and August, try to visit on Wednesdays (10:30 – 12:30) to check out the weekly cheese market as well.