Monday, March 12, 2012

The Marken Photo Hunt

It was a weekend ago that we were itching to get out for another photo hunt and made the decision to drive to the Marken lighthouse. That was the goal: to see the Dutch-famous landmark only 12 miles NE of Amsterdam.

Paard van Marken (Horse from Marken) Lighthouse in the IJsselmeer.

Of course, we had to stop along the way both coming and going, but that part will be for next week....

Once we found our parking spot (€4,50 for the entire day, which is cheap by Dutch standards), we were off on foot, first to see the tourist town and then to walk the 30 minutes out along the dijk to the lighthouse.

Marken is a quaint little peninsula town of under 2K inhabitants.
Because we were there during off-season, we had it pretty much to ouselves.

I love seeing things I've never seen before!
This was outside the wooden-shoe factory (Klompenmakerij)

Enough wooden shoes to shake a stick at that day!

But first...koffie en appeltaart!
It had been awhile.
(click on any collage to enlarge)

Then we were off again to see the rest of the town before heading off to the lighthouse.
This happens to be a town where non-residents are not allowed to drive.
Thankfully, it's small enough to get around on foot. We loved it.

As we walked around one corner to the next, we suddenly were out in the hinterland,
watching Marken the town recede into the background.

The point of reference was always the church,
which, sad to say, we never saw up close and personal.

The lighthouse was at the end of the peninsula, a good 30-minute walk ahead...

...along the dijk.

There she was. The Horse of Marken. Het Paard van Marken.

It's a residence and therefore is private property.
As you see, we went as far as we could go.
And were not disappointed!

On the way back, we took an inland path instead of the dijk,
seeing these cows up close and personal.... well as the bird sanctuary, a haven for bird watchers.
These landing geese tickled me to death because they looked like a stencil painting.

And just as we headed back into town to the car...
a huge barn with 200 cows beckoned us: "Welcome at your own risk."

As if that wasn't enough, we headed to Monnickendam another 12 miles north before ending our day and photo hunt...but that's saved for next week.

Can you tell I'm still playing around with the new collage program, PhotoScape? Still jumping through the hoops and loving it!


  1. I need to download this PhotoScape, didn't get a chance this wkend.

    Looks like the cow likes Astrid.

    Have a lovely week.

  2. PC: Let me know if you have any questions about PhotoScape, Maria. It could be like the blind leading the blind but at least I'm one step ahead of you and can tell you what I know thus far. I'm liking it.

    And yes, I think Astrid hypnotized that cow! Then she cleaned her hand afterwards. :)

  3. Beautiful! I love the touches of red, and those birds coming in for a landing. :-)

  4. Ruth Thank you, Sweetie. Those "touches of red" are often Astrid, of course. :)

  5. The new collage programm is great, love the collages even better.
    We had great day. For me it was at least 40 some years ago that I was in Marken. The €4,50 included 50cents each, 'Tourist Tax'.....
    I am more than happy to pay for that. I think Marken uses that money to keep the town authentic.
    Beautiful pictures again. Great shots of the lighthouse.
    I am looking forward to the pictures of Monnickendam.

  6. Hahaha, I LOVE that shoe tree! Great photos, Ginnie!

  7. Astrid: I'm glad you like the new collage program because it's been fun to learn it. Good-bye Picnik!

    You know how much I love finding these new cities all around your wonderful country. It's like a treasure chest everywhere I go. Thank you.

    Karen: Thank you. And yes, that shoe tree was the first I've ever seen!

  8. Your little Dutch towns are great for photo hunt – even in a small village you get the most interesting photos. Your collages are quite nice. My posts are long and I try not to take too long writing them so I think I’ll stick with my discontinued program as it is so fast to use. The bottom picture in your collage showing the silhouette of the village with the church looks like those little houses you can buy in gift shops – so cute. The tarte aux pommes looks super delicious. That Marken lighthouse is just gorgeous – certainly worthwhile a little hike.

  9. Vagabonde: As you know, of course, these towns are so OLD and have so much character compared to our newer, modern American cities. I'm learning that I am a wabi-sabi person by nature...loving all that which is old but not necessarily worn out! :) Thank you.

  10. Beautiful lighthouse and fascinating wooden shoe pictures. Looks like a great time!

  11. Seeing the photograph of the cafe brought back happy memories of a coffee and cake experience there. A fellow microscopist friend took me there on one of the wonderful holidays I spent in the Netherlands.

    I really like the geese picture, it's fantastic!

  12. Tim: Thank you. I love these photo hunts, as you know.

    Anne: OMG! Are you serious? We were both in the same spot at different times. That's such a weird feeling. It's a small world after all!

    Thank you for stopping by again, Anne.

  13. You take so many great photos that it's something difficult to make a comment... ha ha... I love the wooden shoe-tree or what I should call that remarkable sight! Awesome creation. And I loved following you on this tour, yes, it's like a whole tourist tour :-)))

  14. LCT: Now you know why collages templates are so important for me! :) I used to do albums of my images...but no longer. I want Astrid and me to have a record of our trips for posterity. So much to see. Thanks you for commenting!

  15. I've been to Marken... it was quite crowded when I was there. Someone was demonstrating how the wooden shoes are made... somewhere I have photographs but who knows where! (pre-digital, now I can find them by date on my computer so easily) We did not walk out to the lighthouse and your pictures make me wish we had! (I was visiting friends Pieter and Marjolijn and cannot believe that it was 22 years ago that I was there!)

    The wooden shoe tree images are wonderful and I really like how you put together the "hinterland" collage. It seems that PhotoScape has more options for arranging collages just how you like!

    That cow seems a bit dubious about having Astrid pet her... LOVE it! :-)

  16. Victoria: That wooden-shoe tree is right outside the factory where I'm sure you saw the demonstration on how they're made. It's a small world after all! I love knowing we were on the same ground, though several years removed. But the crowds you encountered are typical during the tourist season. That's why we wanted to go off-season...and are so glad we did.

    Thank you for taking the time again to come find me here!

  17. So that's why there are so many wooden shoes in Holland.... they grow on SHOE TREES!!! So glad you let me in on the secret.
    The little town of Marken is charming, and how fascinating that non-residents are not allowed to drive there. Actually, I don't see any cars in any of your pictures. Maybe I'm not looking closely enough.
    Lighthouses are fascinating structures aren't they? Is this one still functioning?

  18. Loving the shots, so beautiful!!! The wooden shoes and the row of houses were my favs. And the new program, love it too!

  19. Sham: HA! A wooden-shoe tree. Can you imagine them all over the Netherlands! And yes, Marken is very charming, especially at off-season time without hundreds of tourists. That's the time to go! We saw several cars, especially after leaving the city center. But we could tell they belonged to the residents. Good idea.

    I assume the lighthouse is still functional, but now that you ask, I have no clue. I do know a family lives there. Maybe that's their job?!

  20. ET: Glad you had a chance to stop by, that you're a working mom. I wonder how you're faring!!!

  21. This photography takes my breath away. The reflections, colors, vastness. It truly is like looking at a fairy tale book.

  22. Margaret: I don't think there's any place in this country you wouldn't absolutely love!