Let the sun shine.

After 2 days in Amsterdam, I decided to get out of town, specifically to Marken, a town known as an old fishing village in an area north of Amsterdam called “Waterland”, a term that refers to several of the “traditional Dutch” villages that used to be sea but were turned into land by the building of dikes. 

Frequent floods of saltwater and the soft peaty soil on which Marken lies effectively prevented any possibility for farming and crops, so 90% of the men were fisherman in the olden days. Now, there is very little fish and while the vast majority of the people who live here have “normal” jobs in Amsterdam, they must agree to uphold the traditional Dutch look of their homes to support tourism. 

The houses are all painted dark green, as this was the most inexpensive color paint back in the day, and were originally built incredibly close together. Renovations 50 years ago tore down some of the homes in order to provide more light and space for the townspeople. There are still; however, areas with no street names, as the number of alleys is so great that naming each one would take too long, and gardens are all over the place with no correspondence between garden plot and house owner.  

I came across one last fisherman in town, his name is Sam, I think he is 7 years old, and he has typically Dutch features even as a kid (tall, 70% legs, blonde). He spoke no English other than to tell me his name, and only to repeat it when I asked if he lived here; however, he was quick to show me a bucket with the fish he had caught (the last fish in town).