Houses at Marken
Then we headed off to Marken, which is the name of both a former (until 1955) island and its main village. Apparently in former times, and because of its isolation, inbreeding was a big problem, and I eagerly searched for signs of imbecility amongst the inhabitants, but there was none, rather disappointingly; indeed (although this was not disappointing at all) our waitress at lunch-time was exceptionally fetching. Then we walked around the pretty tourist-packed village, where many of the houses were built on stilts (now mostly boxed in) to allow the sea to wash underneath in bad weather; other houses were built on terps, or little hills of mud, to raise them above sea level. After this we planned to walk to a distant lighthouse, but this was aborted when we were half-way there due to lack of time.
But the day was not yet over, because on the way back to Amsterdam we called at the very pretty little village of Broek in Waterland, about which there isn't much to say except that it is very pretty and has a floating duck house. Finally, back in Amsterdam, the very enjoyable meet-up ended as it had begun, with just Keiko and me; we had a pizza and then she went home, whereas I checked-in at the coach station for the long overnight journey back to London.