Netherlands May 12 2017 Blog

May 13, 2017 at 1:31 AM

Friday May 12th - Alkmaar Cheese Market and the City of Haarlem

We spent our first day here in the Netherlands visiting the famous cheese market in Alkmaar and the coastal City of Haarlem. The Alkmaar cheese market is a a tradition dating back to 1593 and a must visit when in this region. Market is held every Friday and people travel from all over to experience the tradition and of course taste the amazing cheese. The cheese is brought into the market square  then carried by the men of the Cheese Carriers Guild into the weigh scales then the process begins. Once the weighing process is complete it carried out and made ready for deliver to the buyers. A fun quick paced process to watch. There are 30 men in the Cheese Carriers Guild. After exploring the market and some of Alkmaar, we drove to Haarlem. 

Haarlem is a city outside of Amsterdam in the northwest Netherlands. Once a major North Sea trading port surrounded by a defensive wall, it retains its medieval character of cobblestone streets and gabled houses. It's the center of a major flower-bulb-growing district. We spent time exploring and photographing regions of the city. So many canals connecting the different waterways.

Also a shout out to Dan and Joyce Fraser today photographers on our tour - Happy 44th Anniversary to you both. It has been fun to celebrate your day with you both here in the Netherlands. In 2009 we had the pleasure of celebrating their anniversary when we toured Yellowstone National Park. Congratulations Dan and Joyce.

Enjoy todays selection of images.

The carriers bringing in the cheese.


Weighing the cheese.


Stacking the cheese to go to the weigh scales.


And with a quick paced cadence they carry the cheese to the scales.


Then after weighing off to the waiting trucks.


Sometimes tourists attending get carried away ... literally!


In the side alley off the market the trucks are then loaded with the marketed cheese.


Everything is done by hand.The market smells great by the way.AMS-36.jpg

Stacked cheese waiting to be loaded on the trucks.


The inspectors also hand out samples to the watching crows.




Samples be tasted by Gail and Sandra.


More cheese on the move.



Plenty of colour in the market.


This cow is at the entrance to the cheese museum ... wonder what's on the other side?


There you go!!


This is the weights and scales used for the cheese!!!


This time they are weighing tourists.


Some of the cheese leaves the market via canals.


Joyce warming up with a Hot Chocolate!


Sue waiting patently for our motor coach.


Bikes are a very important mode of transportation here.


Some of the canal system in Haarlem.


Great walk along the banks, here's a black and white from the trail.


Gina this is not a scene from ET!


Here's a place you can smoke all the whacky stuff you want!


Notice anything out of place in this photo ... hint it has ping lets!


Gail high 5's a new friend.


Bikes left at the train station by commuters.


One of Haarlem’s most distinctive sights is the De Adriaan windmill. Located on the banks of the river Spaarne, it is a quintessentially Dutch landmark


Our motor coach is equipped with tables facing each other and a nice lounge area in the back. A very comfortable way to explore the Netherlands.


That's it for Friday's blog. Tomorrow we head to Hoorn for a steam train ride, village visit, and a canal lunch cruise. More photos and updates tomorrow. Good night from the Netherlands.



Please add a comment

Posted by Nancy Anne on
Now James, you know what's on the udder side of the wall. Looks like you're having a fine time!
Posted by Jerry on
Wow what a place to visit, the blog photos allow us to travel along with you folks. Sure looks like a fun group - who are having a great time. Thanks for sharing..
Posted by Dave on
More Cheesy Photos! maybe not the comments
Great pictures! Could you manage a couple of ounces of Ganja, from the smoke shop? The more golden the color, the better. Strictly for getting spaced...ahhh-I mean, medicinal reasons only.
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