Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Hovering about like Pigpen's dustcloud: Marken

After dinner in Edam, Frank took me out to Marken, which is an island off the estern shore, just north of Amsterdam. The island could only be reached by boat until 1959, when a dike was built connecting the island to the mainland. (Continue scrolling down throughout until you are certain you have reached the bottom of the post as not all photographs have commentary.)

The primary industry for Marken has been fishing (although there also appeared to be a very small industry geared towards daytime tourists). The harbor in Marken was built in the 19th Century (1800's) for the "Marken fleet of typical fishing boats."

As a nod to Dutch priorities, this may be a very small village, but there is a local watering hole. Beer is important.

In keeping with Marken's working-class roots, the village is somewhat somber. Ordinances mandate that the houses be sided with hand-hewn planks, painted dark green, blue, or black (there might have been a brown one also). Despite being dark, the trim tends to be white and flowers cheer it up.


Marken is a pretty place - and the views of the surrounding lake (it is freshwater because the Dutch built a dike across the north end of the body of water, which desalinated over time) are spectacular. However, the mood was quiet, but not peaceful. It had the air of being serieuse and somber.

Also, the ditches and canals on Marken seemed to have a lot of standing water, which breeds mosquitos. As we were walking back to the car, the mosquitos were hovering around me like a cloud. Thus, the title of this post...

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