Let’s visit the Netherlands! (30 April–5 May 2015) – Day 2: Alkmaar, Eindhoven and Maastricht (Part 1)

 

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I know this trip has become old news due to my tardiness. So, I’m trying to finish sharing the pictures by cutting down the small talk and getting right to the action moving forward.

Since I arrived at Amsterdam rather late the day before, I was only able to visit the city center and visit the funfair, taking a few pictures.

Back in my hotel room, I had to plan very quickly as to how I would maximize my time. I’d definitely need to go to Eindhoven to buy the PSV kits since that was my primary objective here. Incidentally, the next day is Friday as well and my handy travel guide says that Alkmaar has a cheese market every Fridays. Well, why not…

Alkmaar

I was having accomms at Schiphol so I have to rely on token common sense to get me to Alkmaar.

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Heemskerk is the hometown of Arthur Numan and Rafael van der Vaart of the Dutch national football team but I don’t have the time to singly make a dedicated visit there. Instead, I’d pass thru Zaandam which is the birthplace of Ronald Koeman.

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The entire journey north to Alkmaar takes approximately 45 mins, and it was a rather dull ride. We passed by places like Uitgeest and Castricum which I’ve not heard of of before.

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But Alkmaar is a welcome sight when we drew to the station. It’s a lovely city.

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Fear not if you arrive at Alkmaar not knowing where the Cheese market is – you would be able to see lots of helpful signposts guiding you along.

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This is the ‘Grote or Sint-Laurenskerk’ – a prominent landmark of Alkmaar.

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Good day for a visit!

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This is the city hall / stadhuis. I had trouble fitting the entire dimensions into the now-technically limited iPhone 5.

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After much walking, I’m here at the Waag building – the site of the Friday Cheese market.

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Taking a look at the cheese auction. I read that it is the entire thing is just for show now.  It is possible to assume better vantage spots at the shops nearby in case you are not as tall as the average tourist.

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More pictures of Alkmaar.

In my view, the distance from the railway station is rather far – just to manage your expectations. Walking around the Netherlands is roughly the same sort of thing unless you’d rather rent a bike.

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I spent a rather long time in Alkmaar and thought not to stay for brunch. Instead, I’d be making the arduous trip down south to Eindhoven. On the way, I’d pass thru Utrecht and den Bosch which I don’t plan to drop by for a quick visit. When you are a PSV fan, you’d instantly know that the long wait to reclaim the Eredivisie title means that you’d not waste anymore time in getting the kits to commemorate the victory.

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This-is-Eindhoven!

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I know where to go – the Philips Stadion. Look at all the buntings celebrating PSV’s latest triumph.

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As I approach the stadium, it feels…strange. I have only ever visited Highbury from the outside and even then I didn’t enter the club shop since it was closed on that day roughly 10 years ago. But now – the PSV store beckons!

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This is the great Mr. PSV – Willy van der Kuijlen!

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Alright – here we go..

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Championship souvenirs – mugs, caps, scarves and geeky glasses. PSV’s last season with Nike means that all their old kits are valuable in my eyes. I cant understand why Umbro has been chosen as sponsor of the 2015/2016 season. Their kits suck – British kits suck.

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Ik hou van PSV Eindhoven!

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I spent around €150 on the lovely blue 3rd kit, the home kit (only XXL size left T T), a mug, some PSV flags, and a lanyard.

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That figure also includes stamping my name and chosen number on the 3rd kit. See that unique PSV numbering style?

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This is the Eredivisie-title winning team for 2014/2015. One of the best teams PSV had in over a decade – and now disintegrated by Man Ure and Newcastle United. PSV will thrive though – we just beat Man Ure 2-1 in the Champions League.

Finally –  a long-held wish came true – a visit to Eindhoven and to Philips Stadion!

(More of Eindhoven and Maastricht in a following post)

 

 

 

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