Rating: 4 out of 5.

My 24-day holiday began at the moment I shut down my laptop and walked out of our quiet offices yesterday, but only along with the start of a new day this morning did the fact dawn on me. My trusty travel buddy and benefactor, Anthony, was back for his yearly continental visit and it was time to pick him up from his flight, quickly drop his bags at the flat, and engage in some local tourism. If it’s a Friday morning in the summer, there was no question – it was Alkmaar’s cheese market or bust. We were generously chauffeured by my ever gracious partner and got there with more than enough time to scout the locale and grab a simple breakfast before the formal activities started – and in absolute comfort at that. It was a pleasant pageant of tradition, kitsch, and kilos upon kilos of cheese that would have made Remy and Mickey proud. Thank goodness it didn’t rain!



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