So, after all those weathervanes and gable stones (last post), here's the first day of our overnighter a couple weekends ago when we Seized the Weather!
Just to refresh the geography, we drove from South Holland, where we live,
to North Holland, the province of Amsterdam, as you see.
Alkmaar is about 62 miles north of Gorinchem (our city).
But first, about 4 miles SW of Alkmaar, Astrid wanted to stop in Heiloo.
This is the chapel on the property where her dad died on 8 March 1981, 34 years ago.
Astrid had never been back since, so this was a bit like staring the tiger in the eye.
His last 10 years were spent here, sick and apart from his family, dying at age 61.
She faced the tiger and unleashed her pent-up tears.
And I got to see the place I had heard about for years.
From Heiloo we drove the short distance to Alkmaar, known for its cheese market.
(The tourist attraction itself is only on Fridays, in season, from 10-12:30,
something I had seen years ago in my past life.)
Impressions, you know.
As we walked into city center, the icons and sights became familiar.
But as often happens, we were ready first for koffie break!
Remember, the weather was glorious, so we actually sat outside in the sun (50-60 F).
As I've said on Facebook, the apple pie with whipped cream is NOT dessert to the Dutch.
THEN we went to the very spot of the world-famous cheese market.
Can't you just imagine the hustle and bustle of those days of yore, right on the canal.
The building is the cheese-weighing house, with the cheese museum on the 2 upper floors.
Because it was Sunday, out of season, nothing was open.
But there was plenty to see as we stood on the bridge opposite the weigh house.
We weren't the only ones taking advantage of the good weather.
Molen van Piet from 1769,
one of the most picturesque Dutch windmills you'll ever see because of it's location on the canal.
...and turning (some of them).
I was especially entranced by the juxtaposition of the wind turbines in the background,
turning the opposite direction (Dutch windmills turn counter-clockwise).
on our way to our hotel in Callantsoog, on the North Sea.
You know me, snapping pics all along the way, sometimes without a clue what I'm seeing,
like that lookout tower (?) in the middle of nowhere.
Stolp = cover/cap (like the cover over a butter dish).
As a farmhouse, the stolp refers to the roof and its square-based pyramid cover.
Sint Maartensbrug, 5 miles from Schagen,
that is a skeleton of such a stolp farmhouse.
How very clever for someone to think that up!
Sometimes you have to see to believe!
Schagen, it was time to eat our mid-day meal,
directly across from the Grote Kerk on the market square.
accompanied by a really good beer...which happened to be from Texel, this time,
the island just north of there where Astrid spent many a year visiting.
(You may remember that we spent 3 days there in October, 2011.)
to last until we reached our hotel in Callantsoog for the night, 7 miles to the coast from Schagen.
How's that for a spur-of-the-moment trip to capitalize on good weather!
Coming up is the next day, driving back home along the North Sea coast.