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Amsterdam / Alkmaar / Utrecht - a quick week

Amsterdam / Alkmaar / Utrecht - a quick week

Aug 20th, 2007, 11:34 AM
  #21  
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Just to clarify, I would be going
-from Utrect -to Hoge V.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 11:38 AM
  #22  
 
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Utrecht-

Ede-W is on the mainline from Utrecht to Arnhem so even closer than Amsterdam

check for train + attraction ticket that includes rail fare and museum entry
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Aug 20th, 2007, 12:20 PM
  #23  
sjj
 
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I'm pretty sure that Kuchenhof Gardens will be open during your visit. It's a beautiful flower show, and one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Check it out:

www.keukenhof.nl/nm/english.html
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Aug 20th, 2007, 12:35 PM
  #24  
 
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Haarlem to Keukenhof by bike is easy and you pedal thru the tulips literally - thru miles of flower fields.

I took the train to Hillegom (sp?) from Haarlem and walked about three-four miles on side roads thru the fields to Keukenhof - a very memorable hike that i enjoyed even more than the gardens, which for formal floral displays is unparalleled - but i loved walking thru the fields where flowers and bulbs were being grown.

Trains go often from Haarlem to Hillegom

Bus 100 also goes from Haarlem train station to Keukenhof frequently, also going thru the flower belt.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 03:31 PM
  #25  
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guys, I'm not going to Haarlem... We did see Keukenhof and it is beautiful.. but go ahead and talk amongst yourselves
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Aug 20th, 2007, 03:43 PM
  #26  
 
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Get to the Cheese Market in Alkmaar at least an hour early, preferably more. You will be there at the peak of the tulip season and the country will be packed with tourists.

There are several small hotels across the street from the small train station, which is about a twenty minute walk from the Cheese Market.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 08:02 PM
  #27  
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Thanks, smueller... I have a reserv. at BW Amrath-Alkmaar. Are there some cafes at the Waagplein where we might have breakfast or at least coffee while waiting? Is there a particular 'photo op' position I should find? (for the Cheese Market)
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Aug 21st, 2007, 06:01 AM
  #28  
 
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<but go ahead and talk amongst yourselves>

that's exactly what Fodor's is - it's not just for the OP but for many others who may be reading as well.

If you want your personal thread say so.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 07:30 AM
  #29  
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I wasn't being critical, I put the after all! It is ok though, isn't it, if I occasionally redirect my thread to the questions I have?
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Aug 21st, 2007, 07:35 AM
  #30  
 
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yup - just ask questions but leave the other alone for many others who may be reading it.

just because you're not going there is no reason for others to suggest things in one area.

and they sincerely thought they were informing you of the general area only to be met with

"guys, I'm not going to Haarlem... We did see Keukenhof and it is beautiful.. but go ahead and talk amongst yourselves"

a little 'thanks for the effort and i've seen that' would have sufficed.

i just found it very cold and rather rude.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 07:59 AM
  #31  
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Then I do apologize for any tone in my note, it was not intended to read that way.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 08:40 AM
  #32  
 
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I can realize that and perhaps i over reacted. Happy Dutch travels and it's refreshing to see someone who is staying outside of Amsterdam and in Alkmaar, which is a very neat town IMO as is Utrecht.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 10:33 AM
  #33  
 
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I agree with smueller -- get to the Cheese Market in Alkmaar early. We were also there at the height of tulip season and it was VERY crowded. We arrived about 2 hours early and at first thought we were crazy, since there was no one around. It quickly became crowded and people started staking out their positions and trying to "save" spots for people arriving later. "Saving" didin't work. The crowd quickly became 3-4 people deep.

Get there early and get a spot in the first row for good pictures. I didn't think one spot was necessarily better than another. "Front row" is what is important.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 10:43 AM
  #34  
 
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s/he's staying in Alkmaar so no problem but you can also get there late

i've been a few times around 11am and the huge crowds that gather just after opening tend to disperse and i saw enough action close up - but don't come at 9:30 or 10
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Aug 21st, 2007, 01:40 PM
  #35  
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I'll be there in plenty of time to greet all the 'out of towners'.. !
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Aug 21st, 2007, 02:47 PM
  #36  
 
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The best "photo op" advice I can offer is to secure a spot along the railing opposite the stylish restaurants. This requires that you arrive early, stake your claim, and don't let anyone nudge you aside. Once it is crowded, if you lose that spot, you may not be able to force yourself back in (seriously - it is very crowded).

To be more specific, the side I am referring to would be on the left as you face the Cheese Museum from the square.

This will put the attractive older looking buildings in the background of your shot, as opposed to the omre drab, modern-looking apartments or office spaces (or whatever they are) that are on the other side.

If you look at the postcard racks when you arrive in town, which is the first thing every clever photographer does, you will notice that most Cheese Market photos are taken from the side I described.

When you get there, it will probably be obvious.
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Aug 21st, 2007, 03:00 PM
  #37  
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I love the way you think - thank you for the unique advice (I'm always trying to figure out this kind of stuff)...
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Aug 21st, 2007, 04:29 PM
  #38  
 
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Thank You Travelnut.

I checked my Michelin Green Guide map after I got home this evening. It has a map of Alkmaar. The spot I described earlier is on the east side of the Kaasmarkt, along the canal. That is the preferred side because it places the more picturesque buildings behind all your pictures.

When we were there the cheese porters seemed to love cameras and they will likely ham it up. There should also be two or three young women in traditional Dutch dress moving about the scene.

The night before the Cheese Market the rain began to pour about midnight and kept going and going. I woke up every hour or so and checked out the window and everytime it was still raining. The wind was howling. Must of been one of those great North Sea storms that we hear about.

Anyway, I was very concerned that they would cancel the Cheese Market. This is a once a week event, and we would be in Belgium the following Friday. Finally, around 6am, it stopped raining, but the streets were soaked. Despite that, the Cheese Market began on schedule. So if it rains, don't stay awake half the night worrying.

If you have a car, the area north of Alkmaar has some great tulip fields. Just drive around the back roads and you will likely find them. It's difficult to get lost and nothing in that part of the Netherlands is far from anything else.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #39  
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Thank you so much (all of you) for the information. I have plenty of time to research further on my own, and am pleased to have a rough plan to dream on during dreary winter months.
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Aug 22nd, 2007, 09:13 AM
  #40  
 
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will you be going to Haarlem?

(just joking!~)
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