Coming from the airport?
Alkmaar is about a 50-minute train trip from Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. The train station is an integral part of the airport. Stop at a train ticket window and buy a one-way ticket to Alkmaar. The price is about 10 euros per ticket. (While waiting for your baggage, use the bank office in the baggage hall to buy euros. It’s open day and night.)
Trains leave for Amsterdam roughly every 20 minutes starting at about 5 AM, less often in the small hours of the night.
If you happen to catch a train that stops at Amsterdam-Sloterdijk, a station on the west edge of Amsterdam, change there, go to platforms 1 and 2 on the lower level of the station, and catch the train to Alkmaar.
If your train doesn’t stop at Amsterdam-Sloterdijk, then change at Amsterdam Central Station. Intercity trains for Alkmaar normally leave four times per hour from Amsterdam Central Station, usually from platform 7A-8A. There are also two “stop trains” per hour — meaning they stop at all stations along the way, with the last being Alkmaar. On the intercity train, it’s just over a half-hour ride from Central Station. The “stop train” takes about 45 minutes.
Most Dutch people speak English. If you get confused, ask for help from anyone at hand. Many people will also be willing to let you make a quick call on their mobile phone.
Once in Alkmaar
As you leave the station, cross the street and walk to the right along Stationsweg. They are currently laying yellow-brick tiles along the route into the town center — just follow the yellow-brick road.
In two minutes you’ll be at a light on a T intersection. Go to the left along Scharlo. Straight ahead you’ll get a glimpse of the Grote Kerk (the Great Church; in pre-Reformation times Alkmaar’s cathedral). Walk on 200 meters or so to the bridge, the Bergerbrug. This takes you across the Singel, the canal that surrounds the old town. Once across, walk onto the first street to your right, Geest (the Dutch word for ghost or spirit). Kanisstraat is the first right off Geest — a short no-traffic lane with a park at one end and the Geest at the other. We live in house number 5.
Carrying too much? Or it’s raining?
There’s a taxi stand in front of the train station. The price of the ride to our address will be less than 10 euros.
Jim & Nancy Forest
1811 GJ Alkmaar
tel: (31)(72) 511.4180; within Holland: (072) 515.4180
mobile: 06 – 510 11 250
Jim’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy’s e-mail: email@example.com
web page: http://www.jimandnancyforest.com