Thursday, 28 May 2009

Netherlands - Alkmaar

Next stop on our travels was to Alkmaar, where we wanted to see the cheese markets that were on in the morning. The cheese is Gouda, but although there is actually a town called Gouda in the Netherlands, after which the cheese is named, the markets in Alkmaar are meant to be more interesting.

Coming from Switzerland we're quite used to idea of cheese being a staple food, but the Netherlands have wrapped it up in a fair amount of tourist-friendly ceremony, and the markets were certainly fun to watch.

It was very entertaining seeing the cheese being sampled, carried to the weighing machines and to the carts by the 'strong men' with the silly hats, and ultimately rolled into a truck for transport.

After watching the markets for a while, we tasted a fair bit of the stuff and bought a few slices that kept us well fed (perhaps a little too well fed!) for the remainder of the trip.

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