Friday, May 1, 2015

Our next to the last day in the Netherlands

Let's see...we had dinner in Gouda and then, hmmm, the next day we walked back into Gouda and learned how Gouda cheese is made.  In the marketplace, there was a kind of living history performance of the ancient cheese market, and we saw the weighing house including a big pair of scales where cheese wheels were weighed and sold.  The square around the city hall was full of vendors, selling produce and clothes and all sorts of stuff.  We went shopping, and I bought a couple of sweaters (it's been so cold and windy!) on sale, and Larry got a sweatshirt too, to stay warmer.  I'm not at all sure what the weather will feel like in Turkey.  We'll wait and see.  

The barge then took off for our next stopping point.  About halfway there we took to the bicycles again and rode for about two hours along the canals, through some narrow city streets, across little bridges, and we even at one point boarded a little ferry with our bicycles to cross a lake and continue on the other side.

Sometime during the day we also had a lecture about the Netherlands and their relationship to water.  They have amazing engineering constructions designed to protect against the 4000 year flood, including one enormous gate that has only been closed once since its construction.  

After the bike ride, we had a beer and cheese tasting.  I know more about Gouda cheese now.  There are some small dairies where they make raw Gouda cheese, where the grass is sweetest and the cows are the happiest, then there is the immense industrial production of Gouda cheese, which can still taste pretty good.  

Let me see if I can find some pictures to post.  These are the city hall of Gouda, which was built free standing in the middle of the square to protect it against fire,  one of the windmills we cycled past, and two pictures of Gouda cheese, with a view of the weighing house in the background of the last picture.  

We go to Istanbul tomorrow.


  1. So cool that you get to bicycle places!

  2. Hi Gail and John, thanks for following along on my blog! I just noticed your comments this morning (I think it's Thursday in Cappadocia) and I'm resting in bed with a sore throat and a cold...) I did love the bicycles in the Netherlands. I wish we could do that in the Bay Area. Larry and I gave away our bicycles years ago, after the father of one of my piano students was killed in a bicycle accident.