My plan for a trip to Amsterdam was foiled by Dutch national rail engineering works, so I decided to take some advice from trip adviser. The only place in the top 10 places to visit in the Netherlands that wasn’t:
a) The island I lived on OR
b) Over 2.5h away (because trains)
…was Alkmaar.
So guess where I went!
It was a beautiful city, lots of small roads and independent shops as well as a larger high street. Very “stereotypical dutch town” -esque. Autumn is arriving so orange leaves were scattered everywhere.
I visited the Stedelijk museum in the centre of town. Personally – old type oil paintings are not normally my forte, but I thoroughly enjoyed an exhibit at the museum by Emanuel de Witte. He plays with light in his paintings in a very curious way. There was also an exhibit of Alkmaar based paintings (portraits and landscapes), as well as an expressionist exhibition. These played more with colour and textures than the others I had seen.
Alkmaar is supposedly known for its cheese. Now as someone with a million dietary restrictions (including lactose intolerance), I thought it best to avoid the cheese factory as it would only be tempting fate. Instead I opted to run into a shop, take a photo of the giant cheeses and gawk at the blue/green/pink cheese, and run out again.
There was also a fancy church, but for some reason I couldn’t get into the church? Maybe I was being crazy and couldn’t find the right entrance or maybe the church really was closed, who knows. Either way it was very pretty from the outside. Overall a pretty successful day I’d say.

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