The Netherlands: Volendam & Schoorl Klimduin

After spending a day in Amsterdam, we picked up our car and set off to do something else.  We thought about going to the Zaanse Schanss, but instead headed north to Volendam, a popular tourist attraction on the Ijsselmeer. 

Volendam is well known for its old fishing boats and the traditional clothing still worn by some residents so they say.  We didn’t spot anyone wearing them as their normal attire – only the few women who worked in the Cheese Factory Shop wore them.  A big tourist attraction is to get dressed up in the gear and have a portrait done.  Oh and one place was running a special – get a photo, then you get a pedicure with kiss fish, which are hundreds of Gara Rufa fish who suckle and nibble on your feet. 


We took a quick trip into the Cheese Factory & Shop, where the kids pretended to milk a cow and carry cheese.  Had to do my utmost to rush out, before I bought the entire shop.  This visit reminded us of one of the kids favorite books – “Hendricka the Cow Who Fell Into The Canal.” 


There is a regular ferry which goes over to Marken, a peninsula close by where there is a museum about its history and clothing style.  I read that the town until 1957, was an island in isolation from the rest of The Netherlands, it developed an independent culture – its own architecture, dialect, dress & more.   We didn’t go over to the island as this day it was raining a bit when we were there.  Plus as all the restaurants were packed, so we chose to leave.  On the way out, we stopped at the Lumpia stand where we each inhaled one.  Oh and I discovered the shop Action!  Perhaps on a future trip to Holland, we’ll take the ferry over for the day to check it out. 

Our plan was to then head to klimduin in Schoorl, where Nils went as a child.  The area is Netherlands highest dunes and there is a large series of trails which you can stay on for miles & miles with trails in the woods & dunes. When we arrived, suddenly the skies opened and it hailed, so we took cover in a cafe.  

Once we had a drink, the four of us slowly climbed up the huge sand hill and then took a small trail before heading back down. Both kids did some running down, as I held my breath hoping for no injuries or a face plant into the sand for Maebh. 


Even though it only looked like our family was here, there were other families going up & down. In the summer months, the cafes are full and dozens of families are running up and down.   The area is also the biggest camping area in Holland, so naturally families will be attracted to this area. 






Author: Stars Stripes and Mayonnaise

I am an American currently living in the Netherlands. I enjoy snapping photos and blogging along the way about our family’s journey as we moved from USA to the UK for a couple years then onto Ireland for three & half years and now in our next adventure in the Netherlands where the kids and are are learning Dutch. As you can probably tell by the name of the blog “Stars, Stripes & Mayonnaise” our family is half American & half Dutch and if you know one thing about the Dutch is that they LOVE their mayonnaise! I seen ’em do it man, they fuckin‘ drown ’em in it. When I started this blog way when it was to capturing memories of our family – essentially a journal of our family adventures, their love of mayonnaise, my love of photography, D.I.Y., crafting, sea glass hunting and exploring with our two amazing kids.

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