My parents used to leave me at my grandparents during the long summer vacations. I had the best times of my life being free – no homework, no parents to annoy me – the pure feeling of life in my own hands. Not as if my grandparents left me to do whatever I wanted to do, but, since in the village I had a lot of cousins, I was able to stay away from home all day long: swimming in the little lakes, eating a lot of fruits, playing with the ducks and so on. Now that I remember all of this a smile slowly comes on my face: I had great childhood escapes just as in our story teller Ion Creanga.
Going back home, when school started, I was kind of annoyed. I had to be responsible with the school and with the cleaning chores (I remember how much I hated to take the garbage out – being the youngest one it was in my duty). During the cold winter evenings I was trying to replace the memories from the past summer with stories. I was sitting in my bedroom and just imagining how the villages are looking like. I still remember the big book of Grimm Brothers: the blue pages with small, brick-red houses, with a flue above them. I was the little girl watching on the window and dreaming about staying in the field again, with no worries, no responsibilities, only with a lot of time of doing nothing. These feelings hit me once I entered Edam for the first time. It was last year during our first holiday in Netherlands. The houses were exactly the ones I imagined so many years ago. But this time it was even better: I was there, staring at one window, admiring the cat in the garden, how the houses contemplate in the water, how I was sure that artists were inspired from this small, amazing town. We both fall in love with it and we dreamed about moving there, but most of the times reality kicks (it’s not such a good option if you work in Amsterdam). When our friends came in visit we proposed them to have a day trip to Edam – Volendam – Marken (behind Amsterdam Centraal Station you can buy a ticket from EBS with 10e and you can use it all day long to visit the Waterland area). I had a small heart thinking I will not enjoy Edam as much as I did the first time. But since we entered the small street with the canal and amazing houses on the left I was convinced I will love it all over again.
Volendam is highly touristic. Crowded, there’s no way not to bump with someone, it’s showing you another face of tourism in Netherlands. But you can enjoy tasty fish food and Dutch pancakes.
From Volendam you have 2 options: take a ferry to Marken or a bus to Amsterdam and in a common station change it with a bus to Marken. Both times we took the ferry, it takes 30 minutes and it’s pleasant to stay relaxed in the blow of the wind. The island is perfect for wandering around, it has a lighthouse and the road to it is paved and near the water. After a while you will start to think that the island is populated more with cats than humans, since at each corner there’s one (in our first trip I’ve seen an enormous cat in front of the garden’s door and I’ve started to talk with her, suddenly she started coming to the door and I was so happy that she is coming to pet her, when I heard a voice behind me: it was the landlord, he was staying behind me for some time, just waiting for me to leave his entrance 😀 ).
From Marken the bus takes you to Amsterdam to a road in the middle of the water. It’s just amazing, and being the first road of this kind I ever traveled it will stay for a long time like this.