The great outdoors - Broek in Waterland and Marken

Hi there,

time for some more adventures in the great Dutch outdoors. Today the Mister and me went to two picturesque villages in the province of Noord-Holland, called Broek in Waterland and Marken. Both villages are less than half an hours' drive away from, and have bus conncetions to Amsterdam.

Broek in Waterland was a popular recreational place for the captains of the VOC ships ( the Dutch east india company, that is). The houses are color coded, pastel colours indicate captain's houses, grey was for the rest of the villagers. Some of the oldest houses we found were from the 1590s. The village is extremely well-kept and at times has an unreal feel to it. Some of the tiny streets are so authentic you will find it hard to tell which year it is. The reason why they are so well-kept normally parks right next to the houses.... SUVs from various expensive car manufacturer's. Although I cannot prove it, I suspect that quite a lot of wealthy people have bought the houses and enjoy their pension in a rural cosy area very close to the capital. Nothing wrong with that, of course since it keeps the village in its authentic state. But still, I suspect that prices are well above  the average in this village ( that btw also holds true for all the greater Amsterdam area).

Beautiful little village, right? October was the perfect time to go, it was so quiet and peaceful and the colored leaves complimented the houses perfectly.

Ok, next up: Marken. This little fisher's village lies on an island in the Ijsselmeer, well, the Markermeer to be correct. Now, I will not go into detail on the history of the Ijsselmeer, but if you do not know about it, look it up. It is, after all, a man-made sea. Marken was secluded until the 1950s (!!!!!) until a dyke was build to connect the island with the mainland. These days, busses full of tourists are brought there and you cannot go anywhere without other camera-ready peeps around you. Even today, on a rather gloomy fall sunday, it was packed. After the serenity in Broek we were quite shocked by that and if you want to go to Marken yourself, please keep that fact in mind. The style of the houses is quite remarkable, though. They are build on stilts to protect the inhabitants from floods. Again, the village is well-maintained and I think it has to do with the shockingly high price we paid for parking. I really hope they spend the 5 euros we paid for 1.5 hours for the village....

After all, I really enjoyed seeing both places. They impressively add just another nuance to the Dutch building styles. I do recommend visiting one or even both of them when you are in the Netherlands.
Have a nice sunday.