A Travellerspoint blog

Then (1950) and Now (2016) at the Cheese Market

Follow the Crowds


View 2016 Tulip Cruise on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Today (April 29th) we went down for breakfast. The hotel breakfast was a good one and not as expensive as the one for $25 each that we had in Amsterdam. This breakfast was $17 each. The breakfast area was quite crowded because most people at the hotel were having breakfast, but there was adequate food.
Breakfast tables

Breakfast tables


Juices on the buffet

Juices on the buffet


I took some packages off the buffet without knowing what they were. One of the packages was called "fruit sprinkles for bread" and it was a sort of fruit candy
Fruit sprinkles for bread

Fruit sprinkles for bread


After I got some food, Bob went back and got some more for me.
Bob at the buffet

Bob at the buffet


My breakfast

My breakfast


There was a busload of Japanese tourists and another one of German tourists (I talked to one of the German ladies). They had been to a farm on the previous day and to a factory to see how the cheese was made. The cheese market did not start until 10, so I thought 9:30 would be time enough to go down there. But I was wrong.
Rental boat barge

Rental boat barge


When we left to go down to the Waagplein, we passed this place near our hotel which said it was Alkmaarse bootjes Verhuut & Verkoop. You can hire a boat from them on a weekend for € 15.00 per hour including pillows and fuel. (In good weather, but when we were there it was raining and a Friday). I took photos of the buildings as we went. We passed De Nachtegaal on the way to the Cheese Market and I took some photos of it because I thought it looked like an interesting building. I was surprised to find out that it was a restaurant.
De Nachtegaal - top stories

De Nachtegaal - top stories


Roof

Roof


The Old City Hall (Stadhuis) in Alkmaar caught our eye on the way to the cheese market.
Lions on the staircase of the Old City Hall

Lions on the staircase of the Old City Hall


It was built between 1509 and 1520 in the Gothic style.
Facade of the building

Facade of the building


Bob walking by the Stadhuis

Bob walking by the Stadhuis


On one corner is a tower with a pear shaped spire.
Pear shaped tower

Pear shaped tower

Looking up from the street

Looking up from the street


Eight years after it was built it was mostly burned down, but it has obviously been rebuilt. It was made a national monument in 1969. Now it still has some municipal functions
Town hall spire above the street

Town hall spire above the street

I was able to tell where the cheese market was without looking at a map because streams of people were walking in that direction. We passed stalls selling souvenirs.
Tchotchkes

Tchotchkes


Wooden shoes

Wooden shoes


More wooden shoes

More wooden shoes


I got photos of The Waag which is on the Waagplein. (The Weigh House is on the Weigh House Square). It was built in the 14th century as a chapel for the adjacent Holy Spirit hospital. In 1566, the Bishop gave permission to re-purpose the building. When the building was converted, they added the Renaissance style facade.
Looking up at the weight house 2016

Looking up at the weight house 2016


The current design dates from 1884. The original tower was replaced by a larger one which contains a carillon.
Top of the Waag steeple

Top of the Waag steeple


There are four sides to the tower - each with a clock. One one side, underneath the clock it says vive memor leti fugit hora which is Latin for "Ever mindful of death, time flies" On another side it says Singulas horas, singulas vitasputa The first part of this is "Every Hour, Every ??" The decorative side of the building is not right over the place where the cheese porters take the cheese to be weighed.
Vive memor leti fugit hora

Vive memor leti fugit hora


Atop the façade of the building is the Latin proverb: "SPQA RESTITVIT VIRTVS ABLATAE JVRA BILANCIS".
SPQA motto

SPQA motto


This means : SPQA (Senatus PopulusQue Alkmaris - Council and People of Alkmaar) by virtue of its courage and strength, restored the rights to the balance to the people and government of Alkmaar." This refers to Alkmaar's famous victory against Spanish Roman Catholics. Also on this side it says 1520 and under it "RENOVATVM 1884". In 1950, when we visited Alkmaar, the Waag was still in use as an actual weigh house for a real cheese market.
Weighing house -1950 with me, my mom and sister

Weighing house -1950 with me, my mom and sister


Now it is is part of a show put on for tourists. But my photo is pretty close to the one of Daddy's
Then (1950) on the right and Now (2016)-weigh house

Then (1950) on the right and Now (2016)-weigh house


But there were people standing four or five deep all around the market area and from the scooter I couldn't even see the big TV screen they had.
Bob's view

Bob's view


I gradually worked my way around to the other side of the square and then it started to rain so I ducked into the Cheese Museum.
From inside the cheese museum

From inside the cheese museum


From there I could see out between people a bit of what was going on.
Trying to see over the crowds from inside the cheese museum

Trying to see over the crowds from inside the cheese museum


Cheese in the cheese museum

Cheese in the cheese museum

Obstructed view

Obstructed view


Cheese Father in the market

Cheese Father in the market


I talked to the man who was slicing cheese up for people to taste
Man cutting up cheese in the corner

Man cutting up cheese in the corner


and showed him the photo and after a bit, he went and got the Cheese Father.
Cheese Father in the Cheese Museum shop

Cheese Father in the Cheese Museum shop


The oldest one of the cheese porters is called the Cheese Father. Traditionally he wears orange - a different color from one of the four colors (Green, Red, Blue and Yellow) worn by the porters. But when we were there, he was wearing green. According to the Cheese Market website:
In the Middle Ages, it was common practice to establish a guild for every professional group, the cheese carriers established theirs in 1593. The cheese carriers’ guild consists of 30 men and the cheese father. The Cheese father is the head of the four forwarding companies - recognised by an orange hat, black cane with silver mountings, and the Alkmaar coat of arms on his chest. Cheese carriers refer to him as “dad”.
De Kaasdragers carrying the cheeses 1950

De Kaasdragers carrying the cheeses 1950


The Cheese Father couldn't see the picture very well because he didn't have his reading glasses so I asked Bob for his, and with Bob's glasses, he could tell who the people were in the photo. He said, sadly "All dead"
Cheese Father looking at Dad's Polaroid

Cheese Father looking at Dad's Polaroid


I told him he could have the photo for their museum.
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And he let me go through the barriers and got me a seat in front.
Cheese Father behind me

Cheese Father behind me


I took a bunch of photos -De Kaasdragers (cheese porters) move so fast that I used the sports photography setting of the camera so I could take rapid fire pictures in succession.
Photo 1

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 2

Photo 4

Photo 4

Photo 6

Photo 6


Photo 7

Photo 7


Cheese maid up by the weigh house

Cheese maid up by the weigh house


We saw two pretty girls in costume at the cheese market. This is new since our first visit in 1950
The Cheese Market website says:
The Cheesemaid’s job is to promote cheese and the Cheese Market. The idea came from the Dutch Dairy Board, who are responsible for the promotion of Dutch cheese at home and abroad. There are always at least two Cheesemaids in attendance at the Alkmaar Cheese Market. They sell the "Kaasexpres" magazine and sometimes pose in photographs with tourists. A logo was designed especially for this, depicting a girl in traditional costume. ... In 1961, the Cheese Maid was named Frau Antju. Now, Frau Antje is been a celebrity, appearing in advertising campaigns and at important events. And the Cheese Maids also appear in costume at the Cheese Market
Cheese maids

Cheese maids


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TV Camera from inside the cheese museum

TV Camera from inside the cheese museum


Cheese cart in person and on TV

Cheese cart in person and on TV

Cheese maids on the TV above heads

Cheese maids on the TV above heads

Overhead view on the screen

Overhead view on the screen

Cheese Carriers on the TV

Cheese Carriers on the TV


I also took a video with my cell phone. I don't think I can replicate Daddy's Polaroid because all my photos are from next to the building out toward the crowds and his has the building in the background
Then (1950) and Now (2016)-cheese porters

Then (1950) and Now (2016)-cheese porters


I assume that the various personnel in the cheese market performance are identified in the presentation. But I did not hear the loudspeaker so I am going by what is written on the website. In addition to the Cheese Father there is the
Zetter - Puts the cheese from the lorries on the market early in the morning, and loads the barrows. They are dressed in black trousers and a blue shirt.
7631850-PC_Cheese_unloading_Alkmaar.jpgUnloading the trucks

Unloading the trucks


Zetter Removing rain cover

Zetter Removing rain cover


Ingooier When the cheeses are weighed, the ingooiers toss them from the barrows in wood handcarts and take them to the lorries. They are recognised by their black trousers and light fawn shirts.
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Ingooier  with the wooden cart

Ingooier with the wooden cart


Cheese Market 2016

Cheese Market 2016


Vastman - An experienced cheese carrier working for one of the forwarding companies. The so-called forwarding companies, are active in the guild, each of them having their own particular colour: red, green, blue, and yellow, and consisting of 6 cheese carriers and a tasman. The colours are also seen in the cheese carriers’ straw hats, bow ties, and barrows.
Tasman - The tasman is recognised by a black leather purse around his waist, and stands at the scales. Bills used to be settled with him. He checkmarks the cheeses after weighing them. The tasman has been in service for the longest.
Voorman A “voorman” is the head of a forwarding company, and the oldest member. Also referred to as “overman”. Every two years, an overman is selected from the forwarding company. He has a silver sign with a ribbon in his company’s colour.
Voormen?

Voormen?


Weigh house during the cheese market

Weigh house during the cheese market


After things calmed down a bit, I went out to take some more photos
Bleachers late in the morning

Bleachers late in the morning

Market from behind the barrier

Market from behind the barrier


Wagon and pallets

Wagon and pallets

Crowds the bring in lots of income

Crowds the bring in lots of income


Approaching street organ

Approaching street organ

Street Organ

Street Organ


We saw a street organ like the one we saw at the tulip gardens. A street organ is an automatic mechanical pneumatic organ designed to be mobile enough to play its music in the street. Dutch street organ are large organs that play book music. They are equipped with multiple ranks of pipes and percussion. They are powered with a belt drive from a small battery powered motor or donkey engine, allowing the organ grinder to collect money. Slightly smaller than the semi-trailer-sized fairground organ the Dutch street organ is nevertheless able to produce enough volume to be heard easily on a busy street corner. Modern Dutch street organs are frequently trailer mounted, and sized for towing behind a pickup or other light truck
Another view of the street organ

Another view of the street organ

Street organ at the end of the street

Street organ at the end of the street


Store next to where the street organ was set up

Store next to where the street organ was set up


Then it started to rain again
Weigh house after the Cheese Market is over

Weigh house after the Cheese Market is over


and I went back into the cheese museum
Post cards 1€ or 0.5 €

Post cards 1€ or 0.5 €

Wall of post cards

Wall of post cards

smart phone ap

smart phone ap

Wall above the crowd

Wall above the crowd


and asked them about buying some cheese to send home. She gave me a map and marked on it a cheese shop that was two doors from the PO. I put on the poncho I got when I rented a scooter at Disney World and we went out into the street.
It was on a pedestrian street

It was on a pedestrian street


While we were on our way to buy cheese, I saw a jewelry store
storefront

storefront


and ducked in there to shelter from the rain. I bought a sapphire ring to maybe give to my granddaughter
ring

ring


In the end I gave this ring to my daughter whose birthstone is sapphire and bought another one for my granddaughter. We found the cheese store.
view from the scooter

view from the scooter


Cheeses on the shelf

Cheeses on the shelf

The red cheese was what we bought

The red cheese was what we bought


We bought some cheese and then took it to the PO
Post office logo

Post office logo


and bought a box and some bubble wrap and the lady at the PO taped up the boxes and we mailed them. It was time for lunch so because it was cold, we tried to find a place to eat where we could eat inside. I tried this place.
Hap Wat from the outside

Hap Wat from the outside


Fried chicken (I could read that)

Fried chicken (I could read that)


But I couldn't find a table.
Hap Wat sign from inside

Hap Wat sign from inside


Burger Tijd (Burger Time in English)

Burger Tijd (Burger Time in English)


We saw this restaurant when we were looking for a place to eat lunch in Alkmaar after the cheese market. Their website says that they have the best beef burger in Alkmaar. Apparently the burgers are delivered to the customers. Eventually we went into a cafe
Outside of the Grand Cafe samen

Outside of the Grand Cafe samen

IMG_5777_C.._Market-218.jpgBar area from our table

Bar area from our table


IMG_5777_C.._Market-219.jpgIMG_5777_C.._Market-224.jpg
Bob ordered the anytime breakfast
Bob's fried egg, cheese and tea

Bob's fried egg, cheese and tea

My cheese sandwich

My cheese sandwich


I just had a cheese sandwich and a cup of tea.
Dessert refrigerator (we didn't get any)

Dessert refrigerator (we didn't get any)

Bob suddenly panicked because he couldn't find his passport. He knew he had not put it into the safe. I thought I remembered him saying that he wasn't going to take it because he wouldn't need it, but he didn't remember saying that. So we started out from the cafe to go back to the hotel.
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Bob was looking at the map (I forgot that he really couldn't see it without his glasses) and he took us the completely wrong way and we were down at the other end of Alkmaar. We came to the Accijnstoren
The Accijnstoren

The Accijnstoren


which is square and built in brick with natural stones. The tower has a loud bell. It was initially a kind of tax office. Imported goods had to be declared here, the excise taxes that produced them were an important source of income for the city.
Fender guitar

Fender guitar

Games Workshop

Games Workshop


HT Cinema Sexshop

HT Cinema Sexshop


Bob walking back from the far end of the old town

Bob walking back from the far end of the old town


Although since the old part of town isn't that big, we weren't too far out of the way. Then he remembered that he had left his umbrella at the cafe. So we found our way back there, but it wasn't there.
Cheese Museum after the market is over

Cheese Museum after the market is over


Once we were there, I knew which way to go to get back to the hotel, and when we got there, Bob's passport was right there. So we just had the lost umbrella. I am not accustomed to Bob losing things. Usually it is me that loses things. After we got back to the hotel (and found Bob's passport), we watched TV while the scooter charged up. And then we set out again for two nearby cemeteries - Sint Barbara RC Church and the Alkmaar General Cemetery. The lady at the desk told us to head for the hospital
Arendshof

Arendshof


Molen van Groot

Molen van Groot


Windmills are an iconic part of the landscape - this one is called Mill De Groot (The Great), but it is better known as "De Molen van Piet", or Piet's Mill (referring to the family who own the mill). It is situated on the Singel Alkmaar a little way down the road from our hotel. The mill was built in 1769 as a corn mill. Since 1993, the blades rotate merely 'for show'. You can see the inside of this iconic mill on 'Open Monumenten Dag'
Floral Clock

Floral Clock


Matthias Laurentius Church

Matthias Laurentius Church


When we got to the hospital we wandered around until we found Sint Barbara. The gate was closed and locked
St Barbara's gate

St Barbara's gate

Sint-Barbara

Sint-Barbara

Photos through Sint-Barbara's fence

Photos through Sint-Barbara's fence


Bob took a few photos through the fence. We went in the direction of the General Cemetery which was in a park. The path took us through the zoo.
Aviary outside the gate

Aviary outside the gate


Map pointing to where we were

Map pointing to where we were


We saw a llama and a Chinese pheasant, doves, parakeets and some chickens among other things. It was sunny but cold. The General Cemetery was open and we took photos.
Alkmaar General Cemetery

Alkmaar General Cemetery

Map of the General Cemetery

Map of the General Cemetery


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Bob mostly in A an B sections and I was mostly on the other side in H section. Then I asked the GPS in my phone how to get back to the hotel and there was a single road which was a straight shot instead of wandering around the hospital.
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Bob complained about my holding the phone while running the scooter, but had admitted at the end that this was a good route. We came out right at the gymnasium next to the hotel. When we came in I asked about places that would deliver food and there is a website which has restaurants (although it was in Dutch). The girl at the desk took pity on us and ordered a pizza which was €8.95 and was kind of a medium pizza.
hotel elevator

hotel elevator


It was delivered to our room.
7623952-Pizza_box_Alkmaar.jpgPizza

Pizza

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:27 Archived in Netherlands

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