Remember: Press F11 for a full screen view of this page.
Web Counter when published 2 012 620


" To Holland with Loes - 1 - Volendam "

Date & start time:      14th June 2022 and the following day.

Location of Start :     By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211)

Places visited :          Pin Mill, Harwich, Hook of Holland, Zaandam, Volendam, Edam, Haarlem.

Walk details :              On holiday, not counting !

Highest point :           A flat calm crossing and glorious sunshine.

With :                            Loes and Myself (Dylan and Dougal stayed with my daughter)

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies.


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


Loweswatercam was on location in June and for the first time in ages I crossed the sea to Europe.

My close friend Loes hails from Holland, few years ago in the days of "au-pairs" and "swinging London".

After Covid, this was the first opportunity for three years for her to go back and see her relations.

I took the opportunity to join her, share the driving, see the sights and meet the family.

Amsterdam here we come !

Old windmills, boats on the river,  have we already arrived in Holland ?

No, this is the River Trent near Newark, very much in the English Midlands, as we drive south towards Harwich.

On the long journey south from the Lakes we pull off the motorway, stop off for lunch and walk the dogs.

Pin Mill in Suffolk, the holiday location for Dylan and Dougal for the next seven days.

They'll be staying with my daughter and her two spaniels, Boris and Bilbo.

After a short forty minute drive, we find ourselves on the Stenna Line Ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.

This was the scene as we depart on the overnight, seven hour crossing of the southern part of the North Sea.

Who turned the lights on !!

Next morning we awake to another beautiful sunny day and slowly enter one of the many exit channels of the River Rhine.

The ferry port here is down at the coast, but if we kept sailing we would reach Rotterdam.

Loes insists on a specific picture of me !

Me ?    I just love looking out on the unusual industrial seascape and the activities of the boats.

Underway with the minimum of hassle and formality, we find ourselves on the motorway heading towards Amsterdam.

Loes is driving and we're travelling on the wrong side of the road of course.

Fortunately everyone else is doing the same so the system works !

We stop off at our accommodation in Haarlem and then head over to see Loes's brother Eddie.

Today is his birthday and one of the main reasons for choosing this week for the holiday.

Happy Birthday Eddie.

- - - o o o - - -

Eddie lives in a modern two story house on Het Eiland, once an island on Zijkanaal,

now connected by bridges to the rest of Zaandam, which itself is just to the north of the outskirts of Amsterdam.

After chatting with Eddie for a while, Loes and I take the opportunity to stroll around the island.

This is the wider of the two sides, once a meander in the large river.

The calm inland waters allow huge cruise-style canal boats, designed for live-aboard holidays.

What is immediately striking about Holland is the variety of building styles.

The post war rebuilding and vibrant economy has spurred on new developments

and a relaxed planning system encourages innovation of design.

We cross over one of the causeways and head for the old town centre.  There's plenty of pleasure craft plus more huge river boats.

Apparently several of these have been used to house Ukrainian refugees who have escaped from the war with Russia.

In town some more traditional houses have survived.

Cars are banned from the centre . . . but still you have watch out for scooters and bikes.

A memorial to Czaar Peter 1st who "learnt the ship building trade" in Zaandam in 1697.

This statue was presented by Keizer Nicholas 2nd who donated it to the town in 1911.

[ The three upright pillars are not ancient.   They are modern canvas unopened umbrellas awaiting the lunchtime crowds]

Further across town we reach another canal, there are so many in Holland as you'll realise soon enough.

This one ends with a children's play area with concrete boats.

At the far end of the "street" are modern buildings, built in classic styles.
These hotels overlook more canals that connect to the main river.

- - - o o o - - -

Eddie wants to show us around his local area, so Loes drives the car out to the east, towards the old Zuider Zee.

The area is now enclosed by numerous dykes and is known by its modern name, the Ijsselmeer.

We divert from the Amsterdam ring road to Durgerdam and drive a road along the top of the dyke.

Brick-cobbled roads and level ground make cycling easy, but old narrow roads, heavy traffic and parked cars don't mix well.

Monnickendam is our next stop.
Classic old houses and canals lead us on foot through the town.

There's even an old "french pissoir" on the side of the road. [in Dutch, a "plaskrul"]

Sometimes these were cleaned with water from the canals.

De Grote Kerk in Monnickendam.
Eddie and Loes on one of the newer bridges.
The "Carillon" sung out tuneful music on its bells every quarter of an hour.
Old canals have been maintained well and are still in use.

The lock gates lead out towards the old harbour.

The modern buildings on the Royal Hakvoort Shipyards.

A bronze sculpture celebrated the local Dutch tradition of curing eels and herring.

Eddie had organised a boat trip for us, across the sea from Marken to Volendam.

We drove onto the island and parked up near the old clog factory at Marken. 

It prides itself on using an old steam engine to power the workshop that still makes clogs in the traditional way.

Marken is a classic old Dutch fishing village, but modernised with improvements to the old housing.

The old houses would have been built on stilts to protect them from the vagaries of the rise and fall of the sea.

Now the Mere is enclosed, folk have 'built down' and incorporated most or all of the old open basements into their upgraded homes.

- - - o o o - - -

All aboard the tourist boat Marken Express for the boat ride "across the sea" to Volendam, seen here on the distant horizon.

Twenty minute or so later and we were entering an equally traditional Dutch fishing village.

Volendam is famed for their old ways and Dutch clothing.

Their traditional dress may not be universal across the country but it is the design everyone thinks of when you imagine Dutch clothing.

The three-masted sailing boat was too big for the harbour, but our ferry berth was waiting inside.

We go ashore and "do the tourist thing". 

However the experience was genuine and would give us a reasonable insight into life in the old days.

- - - o o o - - -


Our arrival coincided with lunchtime

so that gave Loes the opportunity to introduce me

to the classic Volendam speciality

of fresh-cured herring.


Traditionally you are supposed to eat it whole,

slipping the smaller fish easily down your throat in one,

but we chose to have them in a bread roll

in a rather more subdued

but generally more practical way

for us visitors !


- - - o o o - - -


The fish stall on the harbour side offered a wide variety of options for lunch.

The other Volendam speciality was a the classic egg/flour/sugar/water waffle mix, deep fried then covered in a sweet topping.

You could chose any variation of fruit with cream and/or chocolate . . . and all one calorie Loes said !

The local bronze statue commemorates the traditional dress of the local fisher-women.

In our walk around town we passed this photo-wall which gives a better appreciation of the old clothing.

Back out on the harbour, two old sailing boats, most likely originals.

They have been beautifully maintained and are still afloat.
There's a small charge to go aboard for a look a round
However while we waited for our return ferry . . .
. . . the views of other old sailing boats were free.
The three masted schooner we saw earlier, has been out on a sailing trip . . .
. . . and is returning with a fair breeze towards the harbour.

- - - o o o - - -


As she neared home the crew

(and hopefully the paid guests)

gradually furled the sails

and prepared for the end of the voyage.


In the mean time

our boat has arrived back in the harbour

and it was also time for us to leave.



- - - o o o - - -

Leaving Volendam, the schooner now safely moored up.

Returning to Marken, a police launch waits to one side as we maneuver to our ferry berth.

While we were still in Marken we took the opportunity to see the rest of the village.

Here we are crossing the (Queen) Wilhelmina bridge to walk to the church.

It has a very nautical flavour with many and varied boat models hanging above the pews.

Queen Juliana followed Wilhelmina and so qualified for a bridge with her name on it as well.

Crossing it allowed us to return to the car through the back streets and pathways of the village.

- - - o o o - - -

Onward now to a larger canal . . . you get the theme about lots of canals !

Here we've parked the car once again in the village of Edam, close to Volendam, and head off in search of a refreshing beverage.

The 'Baan Bridge' implies a "through road" that will take us into town.

Here, as well as a cafe, I spot the cheese shop . . . it's on the map as the Edam Cheese Experience.

It was certainly a full experience and I managed to creep in just before close of business.

I'm now the proud owner of an Edam Cheese from Edam.

- - - o o o - - -



It was a short drive back to Zaandam

to drop Eddie back home

and enjoy a supper in his house.


We were fortunate in being offered accommodation

in a friends flat in the nearby town of Haarlem

(all towns are close to each other in Holland)

so it was a short journey home

to our second floor flat by yet another canal.


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my iPhone 11pro for this holiday

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . herring and waffle lunch.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 6th June 2022 - Summer in Loweswater

A previous time up here - (45 years ago - sorry no photos )

Next walk - 16th June 2022 - Holland with Loes -2- Zaandam