Saturday, August 11, 2007

Gouda

I have not been up to a lot but a few days ago I rode to the town of Gouda. I'm not sure if the town is named after the cheese or the other way around but am sure most people have heard of the name Gouda. Following is a map that shows somewhat the way I rode my bike.



All of the sites where closed when I got to Gouda but here is a picture that I took after arriving. It was one of the really nice days that we have had lately in Holland and I enjoyed setting around the largest market square in Holland. This is city hall or Stadhuis and it sets in the middle of the market square.



After looking around the city for awhile I locked up my bike and went back to Amsterdam on the train.

Yesterday I caught a train back to Gouda and went to some of the town sites this time. I visited the city hall again and this time was able to go in and walk through 2 of the floors. The highlight of this building was the marriage room (Trouwzaal). After the city hall I visited St John's Church (St. Janskerk). The church has a large number of stained glass windows. It was a shame I did not make it in here on the first day I was in Gouda. This day the sun was not shinning and I think the windows would have been a lot more impressive on a sunny day.

After St Janskerk I visited the Gouda Museum which I was not sure was the museum that I wanted to visit since the old tour books I have call it the Catharina Gasthuis Museum. The museum was interesting but a real strange mix of stuff from old paints and objects that seemed to fit in this old building to modern art and films that to me seemed really out of place. The museum did have a room full of old pipes. It appears Gouda was a very important producer of clay smoking pipes.

Prior to leaving the city I bought a stroopwafel since Gouda is suppose to have the best stroopwafels in Holland. It was really good but not sure it was any better than the ones I buy in Amsterdam.

My plan was to ride onto another town in Holland that I have not visited yet but after riding 5 or 6K out of town I had a flat and while replacing the tube I found a cut in the side of the tire. I was afraid that the tire and tube would not make the 50K that I was planning on riding so turned around and headed back to Gouda. I was able to ride to the station in Gouda catch a train and also ride from the station in Amsterdam to my house so maybe I could have made the 50K ride but better safe then sorry.

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