Today we went to our very first Sinterklass parade in the town of Alkmaar. We were considered “one of the lucky kids” who got to meet Sinterklaas face-to-face and sing the Sinterklaas Kapoentje song for some Pepernoten. Pepernoot is like a poofed up ginger snap cookie only bite size. I think Sinterklaas was impressed with my dutch as you can see in the photo to the right. David and I had all the right connections for this as our very good friend, Cleo, was also dressed as one of the many Pieten throughout Alkmaar with VIP access to Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas was the first dutch tradition Cleo had taught my family when she was an exchange student staying with us in Canada 12 years ago! She taught my sisters and I the Sinterklaas song, we placed our boots by the fire and on December 5th we got a chocolate letter, some pepernoten and some other sweets from Holland. This was my first time seeing the actual parade and I know my sisters would have loved it so we caught Sinterklaas arriving on the boat from Spain on camera for you to watch.
After the Sinterklaas celebrations we wandered through the streets of Alkmaar. Alkmaar is Holland’s cheese town with plenty of shops like the one pictured with cheese stacked right up to the ceiling. The cheese market in Alkmaar is known for weighing cheese as early as 1365 right in the center of the town. The center of the town is pictured in the photo featured at the start of the post. Unfortunately the cheese market is a summer only event but on the bright side this just means we will have to visit Cleo and Holland again in the summer months :)