Before the tulips have completely withered away, I am doing a series of posts on Amsterdam. Because a friend recently sent me a link to an outstanding group of Keukenhof Gardens photographs taken this year by a Dutch landscape photographer, I decided to do this series. The link for the photographs will follow in the next post. The photos are a must see!
A few years ago, I booked an apartment for a week in mid April, which is supposed to be the high point of the tulips’ blooming season. I wanted to be assured of a sunny day for my Keukenhof Gardens afternoon tour. Along with the week giving me leeway to make that sunny day happen, I also wanted wandering time around Amsterdam as my other travels there had only been for short stays.
I arranged to arrive late Friday afternoon, after my comfortable three hour stress-free train ride from Paris, which entailed me mostly gawking out the window at the countryside views. I come prepared for my train rides. Audible book, kindle book, movie but when I’m on the train, I’m often distracted by the views!
I booked the apartment through Vondel Hotels (they have a range of hotels, and more recently, apartments, as far as location and pricing goes) knowing the apartment location would afford me a view of the Prinsengracht canal and would put me in walking distance to a good chunk of the city, including museums, for instance: http://www.prinsengrachtapartments.com/en
I kindly asked the concierge to arrange a taxi to pick me up from the train station, including assurance from them that the driver would carry my luggage up the famous- for-Dutch-houses’ steep narrow stairs, with them being the only mode of transportation up to the apartment!
I planned my arrival for Friday because I wanted to go to the well-known organic farmer’s market, Noordermarkt, on Saturday morning. I was curious about the products that would be offered and thought it also would be a great way for me to gather up a bit for my week long stay.
As stated on their website: http://biologischenoordermarkt.nl/en/
“The Noordermarkt is a square in the Jordaan, a neighbourhood in the centre of Amsterdam. It is located on the Prinsengracht near the Westerstraat. In the centre of the square sits the Noorderkerk (church).
On the northeast side there is a picture of Woutertje Pieterse and Femke, 1971 by Frits Sieger. At the entrance of the church stands a bronze statue of three women with the caption: Together we are the strongest chain (1987), commemorating the Jordaan riots in July 1934, by Sofie Hupkens. On the facade of the church are plaques placed in memory of the call for the February strike and in memory of fellowship fellows during World War II.
During the construction in 1616, the square was christened Prinsenmarkt, after the nearby Prinsengracht. After the completion of the Noorderkerk in 1623, the name Noordermarkt replaced the name given by the city administration – Prinsenmarkt,. Until 1655 the square was largely occupied by the cemetery adjacent to the church.
Since 1987, a part of the square has been used for the farmers market, where organic products are sold. The Noordermarkt is held on Saturdays (organic market) and on Mondays (clothing and antiques).
The farmer’s market was an initiative started by the former bar owner of the Winkel Cafe.
The market began in 1987 with a handful of organic producers and has become the largest organic farmers market in the Netherlands.”
Although the weather was cool and damp, I took my time to stroll through the stalls. Who doesn’t think bread and cheese are the staples of life? (Of course, there was wine to be had too!)
Add some smoked fish?
Or, maybe some fresh fish, since I have the apartment kitchen?
A tempting variety of mushrooms all for the taking…rather for the buying?
They were cooking a mushroom mix in batches and you could eat them hot ‘off the grill’. Something I had never seen offered at a farmer’s market before.
Italian spread of oils and fresh pasta.
I was behind the line of this buyer at the butcher’s counter? By the way, HE got what he wanted!
Desserts were on the menu too…
There was something about this farmer’s market (and I’ve been to a few now in a variety of regions) that came across more authentic. Think ‘hearty, homestyle, wholesome, attractive looking but more simple than fussy’.
The food felt truly farm to market…not always the perfect look but an organically healthy, rustic look to their homemade choices.
And, of course, I had to have….tulips!
The buildings screamed Dutch. But then why shouldn’t they?
And, of course, the primary mode of transportation. Always, bikes! I’m sure I saw that man behind her just finish parking his bike!
My kitchen stash for the week…
I’ve found if I buy a mug and some flowers, my temporary lodging starts to feel like home.
Now this soap has detail!
A little bedside companion. The best!
The featured image is of the Le Perron boulangerie truck. It looks like they have at least two bakeries as well as other locations where you can enjoy their breads and other goodies besides picking it up at the market. Here is their website: https://leperron.nl
Winkel 43-They do not take reservations. Corner location and just across the street from the market. Fresh apple pie with a stack of whipped cream on top is their specialty with some coffee or hot tea. YUM! Look at their website for more info and photos. It looks invitingly cozy: https://winkel43.nl/en