Amazing Cheese Shop
More cheese than you can imagine and from a variety of countries. Even had a green cheese that had wasabi in it. Didn't taste or buy that one.
We are in the town of Alkmaar, population about 90,00, northwest of Amsterdam and one of the cheese capitals of the NL. We have had 3 beautiful days. Walked into the old city the first 2 days here. Much to see. Thursay afternnon we just wandered through the central city looking at the shops and food markets. Amazing cheese shop. Had a hard time deciding what cheese to buy. Picked out 2 and bought a 3rd one the next day. Great meat market and fruit stands. Bought some strawberries that were the sweetest we have ever eaten. On Friday we walked back into town to go to the weekly cheese market/auction. Historically it was a huge cheese auction, but today is done primarily for the touists. The entire square is filled with large cheese rounds that men in the cheese bearer's guild carry in on large wooden sleds. Quite a sight to see. At its height in the early 1900's 675,000 kilos of cheese were sold in the market on one day. Went on a canal tour around the old city. Went under many small bridges - each one different in shape and construction - and some so low that we
Our favoriet street
This is our favorite street in Alkmaar. The cheese shop, meat market, fruit market and chocolatier are all on this street as well as many other wonderful shops.
had to sit on the floor of the boat to avoid hitting our heads on the bridge. Very interesting - many old buildings and a statue of "the family" a gift to the city from Queen Juliana to celebrate the 700th birthday of the city.
Today we biked from Alkmaar to Bergen aan Zee which was about 5 miles away. When you look at the map it seems like the distances are large, but in actuality nothing is more than a few miles from anything else. We are probably only about 20 minutes from Amsterdam by train, but somehow seems further. Bike lanes all the way from here to Bergen aan Zee (by the North Sea) except for one small section of narrow road shared by cars and bikes. Cars always yield to bikes. Rode through open fields and by an old windmill. Began aan Zee is a very small beach resort town. Blue skies and temps in the high 60's or low 70;s. We are adjusting so that cool temps seem warmer than they did a week ago. Walked along the beach and had lunch at a restaurant on the beach. I had mussels - had a slightly
Watch Your Head
This was the lowest bridge on the canal tour. Fortunately the tour guide did the presentation in Dutch, German and English so we always knew when to duck even if we were busy looking at other things.
smoky flavor and had carrot slices mixed in. Also had a small flavorful salad and the ever present french fries with mayonnaise on the side. David had a sandwich with buffalo mozzarella, tomato slices and pesto, also delicious. Several Hobies getting ready to sail so watched them for awhile and then biked back to the campground.
Had to bike to the grocery store to get some supplies. Had turned very cloudy, but made it back about 10 minutes before it started to rain. Just a light rain, but is supposed to continue through tomorrow. We are in a good location so plan to stay here until Monday when the weather is supposed to improve. Will head north from here to Texel on one of the Wadden Islands just north of the NL. Will bike there and visit the Maritime Museum before heading south.
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