Alkmaar and Beyond
Posted on June 1, 2015
After Gouda, we zipped right along, completely bypassing Amsterdam, to another of the four Dutch towns that have a regular, if mostly for the tourists, cheese auction. Again, we were there on the wrong day to see the rigamarole.
Our Airbnb was right at the city wall, dating back a few hundred years. A view from our second floor terrace shows the closeness of one of the city’s canals. A block away stood a fine windmill, now a private residence.
We walked downtown to see the sights, passing a picturesque canal, a drawbridge still in use, and other delights of a picture perfect Dutch town.
Our Airbnb host suggested we drive into the countryside to see windmills and tulip farms. We’re glad we did because the tulips were nearly gone. When the time is right, the blossoms are cut off so the plants do not go to seed. By the time we arrived most of the tulip fields were already decapitated. We got to see the action when we pulled off the road to take a few photos. Big machines were mowing down the flowers before our eyes.
Next morning we had to scoot along to Delfzijl, our last night in the Netherlands. Many of the byway roads were quite narrow, often one lane for cars and more space for bikes. We got used to it, sort of.
Eva couldn’t resist the opportunity to spend one night perched out over the ocean, or at least the North Sea. Our hotel on stilts seemed like a rather crazy idea but it’s been in business for over 50 years, and so far it’s been our most luxurious accommodation. One enters from the top of the dyke that keeps the nearby town from drowning when the gods play rough with the weather.
At night we could see the lights from Germany, and after nine days in the Netherlands this would be our next destination. We expect to skim across coastal towns all the way to Poland, savoring the region where Eva spent her childhood and has deepest impressions.