Saturday, July 13, 2013

Alkmaar Kaasmarkt (Cheese Market)

Yesterday I felt the need to venture out, so decided to go to the Cheese Market in Alkmaar. Since my brain injury, I hesitate to go as far as I used to, I just get too tired when I'm in new places especially on my own. Years ago, when Andrew and I would travel, I would go here and there and everywhere on my much to see, so little time!  But now, I tend to stay closer to home unless I have someone to go with.

I took the bus to the Haarlem train station, then the train towards Hoorn to the Alkmaar Station.  Then I took Bus #3 to where the Cheese Market takes place. I arrived around 0930 hrs.

The crowds weren't too bad when I first arrived, but people started flooding in around 0945hrs.

A little history from the Alkmaar website:

The cheesemarket Alkmaar 2013 will take place from
March 29th untill september 6th, every friday from 10 am
untill 12.30 pm on the Waagplein.
Thousands of visitors from all
over the world visit Alkmaar for
its cheese market,a particular spectacle
which includes a market filled with
cheese and hauling cheese carriers.
The cheese market has taken place on the Waagpleinin
Alkmaar since 1593.
Program (subject to confirmation):
  • 09.50: Welcoming the visitors
  • 09.55:  Introduction of the bell-ringer
  • 10.00: The bell is rung and the market is opened
  • 10.05 - 10.50: Verbal presentation to visitors,
    in Dutch, German, English and French
  • 10.50 - 11.15: Performance by the carillon
  • 11.20 - 12.05:  Verbal presentation to
    visitors, in Dutch, German, English and French
  • 12.15 - 12.45 : Performance by the carillon
  • 12.30: Cheese Market closes
Waagplein, Alkmaar

There were cute kiosks set up with different wares and foods for sale...

From the time I got there till 1000hrs, the church bells were ringing.......very festive!

 At 1000hrs they rang in the market with bells and the Master of Ceremonies came in and started telling us about the cheese market in four languages: Dutch, English, French and German.

It was getting pretty crowded by the time the market "opened".....some of the children had great vantage points!!!

They take the cheese (each cheese "round" weighs 30 kilos) to the weighing station. The buyers take a "core sample" for a taste test, then the price is called out.  The cheese is transported from one side of the market to the other on these sled like things that two men carry. Each sled carries eight rounds.

They were very good at keeping the crowds engaged in what was going on...very entertaining!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tandart in Heemstede

Today, I had an appointment with the dentist, Robert Gitz, in Heemstede at 12.15. For the past couple of months I have been experiencing pressure in the area where I had an apicoectomy surgery done back in February. He took x-rays and says it appears the bone is growing back normally and doesn't see any sign of infection. It feels like there is constant pressure in the area of the surgery, almost like my sinuses are affected.  He told me to keep an eye on it and come back if it continues. I have an appointment to have a new mouth guard made in August. The one I have now has a hole in it....I grind my teeth something terrible at night. He believes some of the problem might be from the pressure of grinding my teeth. Price for new mouth guard: €249.39.

Yesterday I walked around Haarlem for a couple of hours. Later on in the day I noticed that my arms were covered with small itchy bumps. I had forgotten (probably because we don't see the sun much here!) that last year I developed an allergy to the sun. I really have to be careful to either cover up or wear sunscreen!

Today, the sun has gone behind the clouds once's supposed to rain this afternoon.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunshine in Haarlem!

We have had three days of shorts and sandals weather in a row!!! I haven't seen this much warm weather in over a year, for Andrew it's been a year and a half!

Yesterday we went to the ABF in Wassenaar where we met with the American's Women's Club. The U. S. Marine Corps and U.S. Consulates office was sponsoring a BBQ with hotdogs and hamburgers. The AWCA sold watermelon and brought baseball equipment so people could play baseball!  It was a great day in The Netherlands with the sun shining!