Queensday in Alkmaar

by Rob on

Today Marion and I went for the celebration of the Queen’s birthday to the city of Alkmaar. I never have been before to Alkmaar (apart from a changing trains at the rail road station). Lots of people told me that Alkmaar was a very nice city and now I know they were right.

We did leave for Alkmaar some where right after noon. So yes, we did miss a part of the free market. But is was yesterday way too late that we went to bed to get real early out now.

The weather was beautiful. The sun was shinning very brightly and the temperature was very nice. I hope the weather will stay like this, because I am free from work the rest of the week.

Of course I took my new camera with me. It was the first time that I made real pictures with it. And I must admit that I really love this camera. And yes, the is still a lot I have to learn about this camera, but the most important I think I already have discovered as you just need them to make a picture at all. There is one thing I found out very quickly: I need to buy some bigger memories cards. With my old D40 I could store over 400 pictures on a 4 Gb memory card. My new D300s can only store 150 photo’s on such a card.

Anyway, back to our visit to the city of Alkmaar for Queen’s day. Marion and I made a long walk around the free market of Alkmaar. With the nice weather it was very enjoyable. It is nice to see how people try to sell their (old) things. And to be honest, 95% of it all is rubbish. But when you look carefully you can find some nice things here and there. Just as this person how had this pile of Suske & Wiske albums for sale. Poor Marion, but I went through all of them (so handy to have my book collection on my iPhone) and I managed to find two editions that I didn’t have yet.

Around the city there were all kind of performances. There were musicians, dancers and all kind of other artists.

When we wandered around Alkmaar we both noticed that Alkmaar is indeed a very nice place with lots of historical buildings. Alkmaar must really have a rich history and not only concerning the well-known cheese market. We decided to come back any time soon to have a closer look around. Maybe visit a museum or something like that. It was now way too busy to have a quiet look at things.

At the end of our visit to Alkmaar we ended up at a café called “De Bonte Bengel”. I really liked it there. The food was good, the people friendly and the prices acceptable. Again a place to visit again when it will be a little more quiet.

As said, Alkmaar is a place to return to…

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by Rob on

On April 30th we over here in The Netherlands we celebrate Queensday, the day that we celebrate the birthday of our queen. Now is April 30th the birthday of the mother of Queen Beatrix (who’s birthday is really on January 31th). But she decided when she became the queen of our country to keep this national celebration on 30th April.

Anyway, after all that happened recently I am not in a celebration mood. And even more, Marion and I are rather tired. So going to a busy celebration in Haarlem, not even to mention Amsterdam, was not what we wanted.

So we decided at the end of the morning to have a look at the Queensday celebration in Heemskerk. Although still busy that was more after our mood. It reminded us more at how Queensday was celebrated in Haaksbergen. Just other streets and buildings, but for the rest the same. We both liked it.

The free market was fun. A free market is where people may sell things without the need to have a permit. As far as I know Queensday is one of the very few occasions that this allowed. A lot of second hand things are sold. Very nice to watch.
A pity that I didn’t have the list with the titles of my “Suske en Wiske” collection with me. Many were second hand offered. Maybe this was a possibility to add now books to my collection. Ah well, next year!

I really liked the show of old tractors. The were so nice to watch. Ah well, blood crawls where it cannot go :).

Marion and I had lunch at “In de Kas”. We have been there before and just as the last time, we enjoyed it this time again. The soup and breads were delicious again. It is really good place for lunch or to have some snacks.

After some time we went home again. We enjoyed the Queensday celebration in Heemskerk. But we both we still very tired. Once home again, we both were in for a nap.

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The queen’s birthday at Haarlem

by Rob on

Today the Dutch queen is celebrating her birthday (well, the be precise it was the birthday of her mother, queen Juliana… but anyway…).

Now living in the province of North Holland, I wanted to see how they celebrate it over here (heard some very nice stories about that). I was warned by people not to go Amsterdam, but cause it is always too busy there. And now I am really happy that I didn’t go for Amsterdam. But idiots putting a train in fire and pulling the emergency breaks in to other trains, all train traffic to Amsterdam was a big a mess.

But I already had decided to go for this day to the city of Haarlem. Never really been there before and I heard from many people that it is a real nice city. And I have to admit that they are right!

What me always makes me grin a bit is who people dress up with orange colours on this day (orange is the colour of the Dutch Royal house). Know that I don’t like orange really. And oh, the young lady on the picture below was a decent example of dressing with orange…

But in Haarlem itself it was very nice. The atmosphere was good and there were many gathered to enjoy the live music that was played throughout the city. Everywhere there was drinks and food available.

I liked the city of Haarlem a lot. Very soon I will go back when it is there more quiet and walk around the city to see more of it and make pictures.

On my way back home I had to take the bus to Heemskerk because the train traffic was still a big mess thanks to those folks who couldn’t behave.

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