Settled inside the marina, away from the barge traffic, Bob and I settled into to explore Alkmaar.

In one word, ‘delightful’ describes the township of Alkmaar perfectly.

We loved the few canals

that surrounded the old centre

as we wended our way through them in Little G2.

The  old Protestant – ex Catholic  – church is now a most informative museum.

A great of care has gone into the planning and upkeep of tis beautiful relic of times past.

Remember Count Flores the V and his castle in Medemblik. This is his casket, although only a small part of him was placed in it at the time of his death. It’s beautiful, isn’t it!

The ceiling were of carved wood.

It didn’t matter where one turned their eye, there was always something new to view.

Just on the edge of the canal system sits this beautiful Catholic Church.

The old adage, ýou can’t tell a book by its cover’, was certainly true in this case, we discovered upon walking inside,

as our eyes connected with a juxtaposition of old and new.

Last stop of the day was at The Alkmaar Cheese Museum  that is set within the old cheese weigh house (Waagebouw), and  well worth a visit.

Cheese weighing has been taking place since its inauguration in 1365, when there was only one set of scales and the public markets on the Waagplein since 1622. Transported there in the early hours of the morning, up to 2200 whole cheeses that when weighed came to a grand total of 30,000kg, were placed in lines upon the ground to await the customers.

Colours on the hats determined which company was which.

We loved these works.

Today, this age – old custom is continued at 10am each Friday between the first Friday in April and the last in September (disappointingly, Bob and I missed this by a day). The visitor gets to see the action, as cheese porters kaasdragers), loaders(zetters) and weigh masters (waagmeesters) strut their stuff. All belong to a guild that is still in existence now. On a barrow, the kaasdragers carry 120kg per run: that is some weight for two to carry!