Friday, July 20, 2007

Another Ride in North Holland

Yesterday the weather was sunny so I decided to get out on the bike and see if I could make it to Alkmaar. I have ridden there before but it was a couple of years ago and took me most of the day even though it is really not very far. I got a late start and tried a different route this time and thought it would be a bit shorter distance. The way I went seemed to work out well and I made pretty good time even with a head wind for about 1/2 of the ride. I rode through west Amsterdam and a little bit north to the ferry that goes to Zaandam. From Zaandam I followed a bike path next to the train tracks about all the way to Alkmaar. Following is a map to try and show the route I took.

I locked up my bike at the train station and caught a train back to Amsterdam. Today I caught the train back to Alkmaar. Alkmaar has a number of tourist type of things to do but the one most tourist come to see is what I call the cheese dudes. Each Friday in the summer they have a cheese market. I'm not sure if anything is really done at this market anymore but it was once for the selling of cheese. They will have buyers sampling the cheese and weighing it but when I saw it a few year ago it just looked like a bunch of dudes running around carrying large amounts of cheese. It was not a Friday today so sorry no pictures of the cheese dudes.

I forgot my normal camera so this is a picture I took with my phone. It is of the Waag or weigh house and the area in front of it is where the cheese market takes place.

The thing that I wanted to do in Alkmaar was to visit the National Beer Museum but sorry to say I was not that impressed with the museum. I did stop into the proeflokaal (tasting bar) below the museum. The plan was to have one of the Alkmaar beers call the Boom and then head out on the bike but as soon as I got my beer came the rain. I stayed in the bar for a couple more beers getting my insides wet rather than my outside. The rain let up some and I decided I did not want to spend the whole afternoon in the bar waiting for the rain to stop so headed out in the rain.

My plan was to head to Hoorn but only saw signs for Purmerend which I thought was in the same direction as Hoorn so followed the Purmerend signs. After about 15 minutes of riding the rain stopped and even though it looked like it might rain again for most of the ride it stayed dry. I enjoyed the ride but really took the long way to get to Hoorn. A short distance after leaving Alkmaar I saw a sign that had Purmerend as 20K and Zaandam 19K. At some point I saw a sign that said Zaandam 7K and Purmerend 19K. I must have missed a turn for Purmerend or one of these signs were wrong. I tried to show the way I think I rode on the map earlier in this post. I blame the long route on the bike signs but am sure some of it was both to do with heading to Purmerend and my great sense of direction. I did make it to Hoorn with no problem and locked up my bike at the train station and caught a train home. I hope to ride on from Hoorn in a couple of days if the weather look OK.

No comments:

Post a Comment