In Alkmaar Ann and David join us, they arrive with the ferry from northern England. The six of us enjoy our reunion. Once again we are an European group!
Since centuries every Friday the cheese gets negotiated in Alkmaar.
Early in the morning the cheese is delivered to the big market place and the „Cheese Market Master“ and the dealers control the qualtiy of the cheese wheels.
Big holes are drilled in the nice round wheels and the quality of the cheese gets tested – sometimes even by the spectators.
Up to 30.000 kilos or 2.200 wheels are laying on the ground. The ‚kaasdragers‘ , the ‚zetters‘, the ‚ingooiers‘ and ‚waagmeesters‘ dominate the place.
The setters stack 8 wheels on a special rack.
The carriers bring the heavy load to the ancient scale (and back!), where it will be weighted. The 28 cheese carriers certainly don’t need any more exercise for today!
After the cheese wheels are weighted they are brought to the other side of the place and loaded on barrows to bring them around the edge to the waiting trucks.
It is a touristic spectacle. We assume these are the same trucks which have brought the cheese wheels in the morning. Will they go from here to the next cheese market in Gouda or Edam?
The evening we spend in the restaurant where we celebrated the end of our tour last year. The food is excellent and we are ready to start our trip.