I like to wake-up with a cup of coffee – better: I NEED coffee to wake up – and while doing so I noticed something that has become so familiar that I just didn’t see it, a blind spot:
The tin I keep the coffee in.
It’s the classic Van Houten Dutch Cocoa tin, showing images from the turn of the century (20th that is) and one is the portrait of “A Happy Fisherman of the Isle of Marken Holland”.
And since walking is The Thing at the moment I decided to check it out, the village where this scene is located, on the Isle of Marken. Usually it is packed and busy entertaining tourists, but surely now would be a good time to visit?
The Isle of Marken is a peninsula north of Amsterdam, once a small fishing community that lived from fishing the Zuiderzee (southern sea). Now it is located on the much calmer Markermeer, a closed off corner of the IJsselmeer, the lake that used to be the sea – before they built the 32 kilometers long afsluitdijk (closing dike).
I drove over, brought my hiking boots and was lucky to find a spot in the one-and-only parking lot for visitors – this must be a good sign. I decided to do a walk around the peninsula and start at the little main village by the harbor.
This is the heart of the tourist action normally, but now – closed. One window only was open for take away coffee and hot cocoa. The welcoming local café on the harbor. They even put the cut-out out, for visitors to photograph themselves in local costume, outfits similar to the ones on the coffee tin 🙂
The typical fabric used in these costumes – and other fabrics used around the house, in days gone by – is still on sale in a small shop. Again, unfortunately closed at the moment, but not forgotten! (I noticed a red on white pointillist flower pattern on flanel that I know from my great-grandmother’s guest room (!) I must come back some day to get some)
It is so quaint, so typical, I can’t help but wonder: do people actually live here? Are people conducting their daily lives here, on the dyke by the harbor, right in the middle of it? Or is the laundry hanging in the back of the house a stage backdrop? Set-dressing, meant to enhance the colour locale? I did meet curious eyes behind the curtains when I went over to take the snaps…! (One of the houses had a for rent sign, bookable per week through a major booking site.)
I walked on, left the village for the outer area, the fields, the dyke around them and the famous light house.
While climbing up the dike on the north side of the island, when presented with the view I couldn’t help but have a strong sense of, erm, Truman Show! There it lay in front of me, the dome of silent blue, with that tiny sail in the distance, going for the painted cardboard walls…
While out there a big fat cloud appeared and gave us its best! A wet patch and a hard wind blew me onto the settlement called Rozenwerf. No more than a couple of wooden houses, built against the dyke, protected by wave breakers.
Turning around I could see the sky opening up again, the lighthouse a black figure against the blue. Wonderful.