A Day in Volendam
Volendam Travel Blog› entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
Today was the first day of the meet-up, and a small but select band congregated in Volendam, the main port of the area about half-an-hour's walk south from Edam. It is a touristy place, and understandably so, which lies on the shore of Markermeer, once part of the Zuider Zee but now converted into a fresh-water lake. Our activity at first consisted of wandering about in the warm spring sunshine looking at the shops and other buildings along the margins of the marina, and very agreeable it was too. Then we visited the Volendam Museum, which is good value and more interesting than you might at first suppose. A great curiosity was the cigar-band room - basically a room which some demented soul had decorated entirely, and very skilfully, with cigar bands; although what precisely this has to do with the history of Volendam escaped me at the time, and still does.
After lunch, during which I resolutely resisted all attempts to make me sample smoked eel, we called at a jeweller's shop where the charming proprietor was also a third-generation diamond-cutter; he gave a most interesting short talk on the process, and his wife displayed samples of the various kinds of diamonds and types of cut. We stayed about half-an-hour asking questions and not buying the jewellery on display, which regrettably included a really vulgar diamond-encrusted "fcuk" wrist-watch. Tea followed, then another wander around before the official TravBuddy meet-up dinner at The Cafe-Restaurant de Dijk. This passed off very pleasantly, and afterwards those of us with stamina repaired to a nearby hostelry for further refreshment.
I decided to walk back to Edam, but unfortunately everything looked different in the dark and I got comprehensively lost, from which state I was rescued only by a remarkably well-illuminated street plan at a bus shelter. Never mind; although the walk took 90 minutes instead of 30 it was a dry and mild night, and it was probably better than sitting in my hotel room drinking bad coffee.