Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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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