North Holland and Marken

Trip Start Jul 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

On Sunday, April 1st we took a 26+ mile (21 km each way!) bike trip from Amsterdam to the island fishing village of Marken. 
Our April Fools outing was our longest biking expedition to date... with the strong winds it took us nearly 6 hours to complete (including time spent in Marken!). The bike paths are very well marked and exceptionally well maintained.  The scenery was beautiful.  Marken is known for being a very 'touristy' destination, but we really enjoyed our day trip!
The previous week we had taken a driving tour of this province (North Holland) seeing Marken, Volendam, Edam, Alkmaar, and the seaside village of Bergen-aan Zee.  It's amazing how seemingly rural and sparsely populated most of The Netherlands appears. Even more amazing is how quickly you enter the rural/farming areas once you leave the outskirts of Amsterdam. From our apartment we can get to such areas within 5 minutes (on a bike!).  Despite being among the most densely populated countries (23rd in the world, 7th in Europe), good urban planning has maintained much of the original landscape while allowing for an extensive network of transportation systems (highways, bike paths, railroads) between towns/villages.   
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