After spending a few days in Amsterdam, we wanted to spend a day outside of the city and tour the Dutch landscape and traditional villages. Fortunately, friends of ours had been to Amsterdam just prior to our trip and recommended a tour to the villages of Volendam and Marken. Volendam is a fishermen's village and is a popular tourist destination. Located on the Ijsselmeer (Lake Ijssel), it has a great seaside feel to it, reminding me of some of the towns on the Jersey Shore with their boardwalk.
Marken, on the other hand, has a much different feel to it. Located across the Ijsselmeer, it was once an island but is now officially a peninsula with the building of a causeway from the mainland. Marken is well known for its characteristic wooden houses, is less crowded and commercial and has a tranquil atmosphere.
One can reach Marken from either a bus or by ferry. We luckily chose the ferry and enjoyed a beautiful trip. As we left Volendam’s enclosed harbor onto the Ijsselmeer, I was amazed on how many sailboats were out. I am no stranger to seaside locations, but I have never seen so many boats. This photo shows just a few of the sailboats that were out. The lone red sail of this sailboat stood out on the lake.