Dutch Language Blog

Enkhuizen and Hoorn Posted by on Feb 25, 2010 in Dutch Language

A few weeks ago I managed to get out of Amsterdam, which I try to make a regular habit of.  For this trip, I decided to head north, since the last few trips I have taken have landed me in the south.  One of the great things about the Netherlands is just how easy it is to travel because most places are connected by the trains.  I don’t have much nice to say about the trains being on time, especially at rush hour, and especially since there has been so much snow this year, but they will get you from point A to point B…eventually.

So I took my bicycle on the train, with the plan of getting off the train at Enkhuizen, seeing the sites, and cycling from Enkhuizen to Hoorn, which lies just a little ways south.

The weather was absolutely terrible, and I don’t think this did the cutesy little town of Enkhuizen much justice.

Enkhuizen is very old, founded in the mid-14th century, and has a long tradition of being a large port of entry to the Netherlands for ships.  It is home to the Zuiderzeemuseum (http://www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl/) which hosts an outdoor exhibition of ships.  Regrettably, it is closed at this time of year, but the museum was very nice and was showing an exhibit on art featuring the town of Volendam.  Despite the outdoor exhibit area being closed, it was well worth the visit, and the town itself was lovely.  I froze my butt off standing in the wind getting these pictures of the harbor and the town:

While in Enkhuizen, a snow storm rolled in.  But I still cycled from Enkhuizen to Hoorn in the middle of the snow storm.  It actually ended up being pretty fun, although very cold.

Like Enkhuizen, Hoorn is another port city with a long maritime tradition and a relationship with the sea. A long standing testament to its economic influence and activity, Cape Horn still has its name after this city in Noord Holland.  Hoorn is very old, dating back to around the early 8th century, and you can still see the original city gates.  It is one of the largest cities in that area, making it the cultural center for the surrounding area.  In the summer there is a music festival on the main square, there are lots of little places to eat along the harbor, and when the weather isn’t so terribly bad, Hoorn is a great place to sit on a terrace and relax.

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  1. ellen:

    It is sad, the weather was so bad. In the summer it is indeed much nicer to go there. They also have a huge market on Saturday. When I was there, it almost felt as if you are on a vacation. I did not live far from it, Purmerend. And a brother of mine lives in Hoorn.

  2. Sarah:

    I really liked Enkhuizen, so I won’t hold the weather against it. We might still go back at some point to see the outdoor portion of the Zuiderzeemuseum.

    I love Hoorn. It actually reminds me a bit of the town where I grew up, although definitely a European variant of it. In my humble opinion, it’s much more relaxed than Amsterdam.

  3. Sarah:

    Sarah I agree with you , Hoorn is a lovely Town and in summer it is heaven. I have travelled far and beyond, its one place I can ride my bike in Peace.