Monday, 18 March 2013

Travel Inspiration: Amsterdam and Alkmaar

I finally got my Internet connection back late Thursday afternoon - five days without my own access was a lesson in patience! However, it gave me a little more time for writing and organising various things, and proved how much of my day is taken up with various social networking activities. Before moving on to today's post here, I must just mention my Flights of Imagination blog, where author Maggie Lyons is talking about the inspiration behind her two fun books for eight to twelve year olds.

Today, it's the next travel inspiration piece - and I think I'll stick to going through them from A to Z, although there might be several places under one initial letter. That should give me more of a focus for deciding on the places to feature.

Many years ago, when the children were teens and I used a film roll instead of digital, we had an unexpected holiday to Holland. We'd set off to visit relatives in England first, on our way to France, but the French lorry drivers were blocking all routes that summer and we changed plans at the last minute. Once in Holland, we kept driving until we reached a lovely small village towards the north, Bergen Am See, where we managed to rent a cute little holiday cottage. As often in these circumstances, it became one of our favourite holidays.

We took the double decker bus into Amsterdam where we wandered along by the canals, viewed ornate barrel organs, and visited the famous Rijksmuseum, dedicated to arts, crafts and history. Of course, we inadvertantly ended up walking along a certain famous street with interesting window displays!

Clog Whittling

One of the greatest pleasures of the holiday was being able to hire bikes for several days. The most interesting cycle ride took us some miles away into Alkmaar, where we were delighted to watch the fascinating cheese weighing at the annual market.

Our trusty bikes took us all over this beautiful area of North Holland, allowing us access to places we might otherwise have missed. And it was great exercise!



Wendy's Writing said...

Can you believe I have never been to Amsterdam - It's in my list of places to visit and your post has made me want to go even more now.

joanne fox said...

Tried to post my comment but got 'service unavailable', so I'll try again. Just delete one if this turns up twice!

Amsterdam is lovely, and small enough that you can learn your way round fairly fast. I would love to go back there myself. Thanks for the memories!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It's an interesting place, Wendy.

Thanks for persevering, Joanne! I'd like to go back too as it's been a while.

Joanna said...

I'd love to see Amsterdam. Your photographs are lovely, Rosemary.
My daughter loved it there, especially the museum. I must make sure I visit soon. x

Teresa Ashby said...

I'd really love to go to Amsterdam and I have no excuse really as we have a ferry to Holland from here. My daughter and her husband had a holiday in Amsterdam and they loved it!

Lovely pictures :-) x

Patsy said...

Were you tempted to call 'say cheese' when taking those last pictures?

Jean Bull said...

We had a great holiday in Amsterdam too several years ago. One memory was my young daughter falling off her hired bike because she couldn't work the reverse-pedalling gears. Despite a badly grazed nose, hands and knees, which of course I cleaned, she got straight on again and cycled off.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Joanna - I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

You're so lucky being nearer the ports, Teresa!

That's a good one, Patsy!

I love the way children just get up and on with it, Jean!

Hayley N. Jones said...

Hi Rosemary, I've nominated you for the Reality Award. Feel free to ignore if you don't fancy it - I won't be insulted or anything! :-)

Joan Fleming said...

Your post brings back memories, Rosemary. It's a fascinating city to visit. That said, we didn't find a cheese-weighing competition!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

That's very kind of you, Hayley - thank you!

The annual cheese weighing ceremony is in Alkmaar, Joan - we cycled there!