Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cheesy Goodness...

Destination: Alkmaar
Date: Friday, August 1, 2008
I haven't blogged in almost a week, and I have so much to talk about. I had a fantastic weekend! On Friday my friend Pete and I decided we would go to Alkmaar, where they have a traditional cheese market. We caught a train from Central Station at around 9 a.m. and quickly watched the graffiti and congestion of the city turn into smaller towns and fields of cows. When you think Holland or the Netherlands, your mind probably turns to windmills, cheese and perhaps those wooden clogs. This town had it ALL... and was unsurprisingly swamped with tourists. Fridays are when the town holds their cheese market, so things were really buzzing. On a friend's suggestion we hopped on one of the canal boats for a tour of the town, and it was well worth it! Both of us snapped quite a number of photos during the hour-long ride! 
We passed quite a few windmills, houseboats, and adorable little houses. The scenery was beautiful and peaceful. 

The cruise dropped us back off at the cheese market, and we worked through the large crowd to shoot some images of the cheese mongers. Everywhere we looked there were large wheels of cheese, and people selling those classic wooden clogs. Cheesy in so many ways, yet so much fun!
Men with hats like the one seen in the previous photo carry these sleighs of cheese, moving at sort of an odd run. Damaging the cheese is completely frowned upon, and while you can't actually buy the cheese shown in the demonstration, there were many booths offering Edam, Gouda, and other locally made cheeses aplenty. 
What a fabulous way to kick off the weekend!

*A fun bit of trivia about Alkmaar... while Pete and I were walking around we went past a Beatles Museum, and I didn't understand why there would be one in this town in Holland. Well... according to Wikipedia... John Lennon's first guitar was made in Alkmaar! :-)

More soon,


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