The perfect way to start the day, a great breakfast with a beautiful woman.
Just another of the reasons why we enjoy staying at CitizenM hotels. The MyHeritage genealogy conference is being held at the Hilton and we will be moving there this afternoon when we return from our outing for the day, so we only needed to check our physical baggage.
Selfie of the day on the train to Alkmaar.
It reminded us of our garden at Retama, and the fact in a little over a week we will be back.
There were tulip bulbs for sale at the market in Alkmaar, but that was not the reason why we were here. And no, we did not buy any tulip bulbs, nor did Ms. Snitcha Plant secretly pocket any. Good Linda.
Many things for sale but we pass them by as Linda was a woman on a mission.
We were on a two hour tour of the town, but it was only to make sure we were there on a Friday . An observation I've made about local guides is that the ones we have during our OAT trips are so superior they make the guides we have on tours like this seem very amateurish in comparison. In addition Vanessa had a very strong accent which made her especially hard for me to understand.
It looks like a picture of some bikes parked beside a wall, but there is more.
The little sign on the fence above the wall. You can probably understand what it says even if you can't read Dutch because of the diagram. It's almost like don't park any bicycles here signs mean, park bicycles here.
Why we were here. This was the first outing that Ms. Cheese Lover planned when we decided to come to the Netherlands.
Friday is the day of the cheese market in Alkmaar and they do it just as they always have.
Each of those rounds is 26 1/2 pounds and the men dressed in white move them around.
You can see the stride they take as they moved the cheese around. Also note that each group of cheese is marked. Market day has a set sequence to what happens.
These cheeses have been purchased and are being taken over to the weighing scales.
We never did figure out why some cheeses were loaded on these handcarts and then wheeled off in a different direction. Maybe it's a good excuse for Ms. Cheese Lover to come back again sometime.
A still shot does not do justice to the poetry of motion that goes on before you. You might also note for the photos that managed to get up to the front row of the fence, just like we did at the Tower Bridge opening and closing in London. No little old ladies were pushed aside to get up there, but every inch is taken advantage of.
The above video shows what we mean about the poetry of motion.
Group number 4 was right in front of us, note the board and knife.
First they examine the outside very carefully then they slice it open.
Much discussion and pointing took place as they examined the cut cheese. The gentleman to the left holds the sampling instrument used to remove a plug of cheese. Then they look at it carefully, smell its and then taste it.
Almost directly in front of us was a round where they were taking samples and sharing it with the crowd.
Two guesses whose hand that is getting the sample and the first one doesn't count.
A very happy Ms. Cheese Lover. I may have many failings but thank goodness for the fact that there were a number of actual cheese makers on my maternal side, because had we not met on that blind date, she would likely still be eating Velveeta. Lucky Linda.
One of the two companies that buy the cheese at the market.
No one was taking a picture of the statue, and after looking at the way it turned out I can understand why.
The Waaggebouw, which overlooks the cheese market, which is to the left.
Canal boat trip, but with the difference. I'll just say that if you get to Alkmaar, you really should take a canal boat ride. You'll see why below.
Duck your heads.
Pretty woman with head ducked shooting a video.
When they say duck your head they mean it. The view behind us.
Heads ducked video. It's an understatement to say that we loved this most unusual of canal boat rides.
Wht we saw when we weren't ducking our head passing under the more than 20 bridges, one of which was only 3 feet above the water. We we all laying on the bench seats for that one.
I have resisted eating these sweet gooey treats up to now. In this case it came with the coffee we had for lunch and my resistance was gone.
Electric vehicles are everywhere.
The view from our 9th floor room in the Hilton. Amsterdam is such a pretty city.
The evening's special event. The premier of a documentary featuring to abandoned Korean sisters who were reunited via DNA testing after more than forty years. One was adopted by a couple from Belgium, the other by a couple from the US. One was 3 and the other just a few months old when their mother abandoned them.
The photo is of the people sitting in the front row head of us. I'll name them for the benefit of any readers who are genealogists. Right to left, James Tanner, Geoff Rasmussen, Roberta Estes and Yette Hoitink, all speakers at the conference.
The two sisters. They were real people who had something devastating and then incredible happen to then. Unbelievably they both had 27 year old daughters, 24 year old boys and both had been in two marriages. Furthermore, both had run away from home at age 16. Sometime the truth is stranger than fiction. If you haven't taken a DNA test, do so. You never know whose life you will touch. For me, I learned that my great grandfather wasn't who the family always thought he was.