No joke, Alkmaar was my social event for the week.

Granted I’ve been out drinking with colleagues (too often) this week and even had our company Halloween party yesterday, I haven’t been to Alkmaar yet this year, which is a shame since despite being a tourist magnet for its seasonal, Friday cheese market, it has a beautiful city center that gives out this European old world vibe that’s one of the reasons why I moved here.

And apart from from getting reacquainted with Alkmaar again, there was more importantly a meet up with Teko’s colleague, Sonia, and her boyfriend Jochem, our recent, part-time travel companions in the U.K, and who incidentally call Alkmaar home. They chose a lovely place for our lunch get together.


The simple menu made choosing easy, and the combo of light rosé with the house club sandwich was satisfying. Add in a nut-covered brownie and non-stop chatter about our recent trip to the U.S. – a little too one-sided if I may guiltily add – Ijkgebouw turned out to be a great choice.

What followed was a pleasant autumn walk through the surprising red light area – surprising because I didn’t realize there was one to begin with, and that there were that many working women in the middle of the afternoon – and then onto the oldest, liveliest parts of town. The Saturday shopping crowd was in full force egged on by one of those mobile wind-up organs, which not only added to the atmosphere, it brought out that Yuletide feeling I’m constantly looking for. With thanks to Sonia and Jochem, it was a very pleasant afternoon in Alkmaar. 


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