1121-1124: Gorgeous Gouda

1121-1124: Gorgeous Gouda

Monday 31st – Thursday 4th April 2019

Gouda is famous for its cheese and during the tourist season, its Thursday cheese market.  We had planned to come here two summers ago, but responded to a Kerstin’s plea for decorating help in Germany.  Gouda and the market were definitely on our to do list this trip.  Having read that the motorhome aire gets VERY busy on Wednesday, for the Thursday market, AND having had problems finding campsites that will take two dogs … we got here mega early.  Monday, in fact.  We went from 14 vans to 44 on Wedsnday night and back to 7 on Thursday night.  At EUR8 for 24 hours and as we were so early, we got free electric hookup, it was a bargain.

We had planned to stay only 3 nights, but with such a good parking place and so close to a lovely town, we stayed 4.  We managed an ice cream each day … I had two days of some ache and shiver bug (weird), so did little on those days, but still managed a walk into town for a white chocolate and hazelnut, or coffee and pistachio …. purely medicinal.

Gouda really is lovely to wander around, but the high light is definitely the C16 stained glass windows in the Church of St John.  I also visited the Gouda Museum, which had a good mix of furniture, art, porcelain and I learned about the pipe making in Gouda.

The cheese market was disappointing … a fairly ordinary small market with only about 4 cheese stalls.  There was a sort of display and demonstration, which we missed.  Lots of photo opportunities for a pic with a buxom blond lass in costume, which we also missed!  We aborted the market in favour of a glass of vino on the edge of the square and people watched.  I did managed to come away with enough veggies bought to make a caponata and asparagus soup … slow cooker, Remoska and electric hob all in use whilst whilst we have electric!

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Sint-Janskerk:  Images depicted various Battles.  This was the battle of Leiden where the town was besieged and the citizens were starving.  The Mayor offered up his own body to feed the people … they declined, but it gave them new heart.  Their rescuers brought bread and herring, which they still consume at an annual celebration.

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King Phillip II from Spain thought so much of himself, he had his image included in the Last Supper tableau.

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A biblical tale, where the town was saved by a Judith chopping off the head of the attacker whilst he slept.

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And from 2015, evil around the outside and good, hope, joy etc inside. 

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These are Stolperstein.  We’d have not necessarily noticed them if Mike and Carol did not seek them out on their travels and blog about them.  They are outside houses to show where Jewish people lived before being slaughtered by the Germans in WW2.

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Gouda Museum was formerly the hospital and had its own pharmacy.

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Gouda had quite an industry in pottery… they adopted the Majolica method of glazing tin to achieve colours.  Most of the colours and styles followed current fashion.

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This is one of the museum’s treasures.  Miachel Sweerts’ The Spinner 1656.  He was noted for his use of light, particularly on the head scarf.  A lot of Dutch painters were influenced by Caravaggio.  Feel I should have taken more notice of him when we spent 6 months in Italy.

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Not hat pins!  But pipe cleaners …

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 Long barrels to cool the smoke.  Gouda was a major production centre, then lost out to French designs and coped the shorter, double walled pipes.

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This was the only piece of porcelain I would have happily ‘borrowed’ from the museum.

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Just love the very Dutch decorative style.

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From 14 to 44 vans the night before the Thursday cheese market.

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A cheeky little donut with raisins.

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The cheeses laid out in front of the Town Hall for the tourists.

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The small cheeses are the young ones as they don’t have time to develop a thick skin.  To add flavour they are infused with herbs, garlic, beer, pistachio … you name it.  We bought a slab of the much tastier 2 year old.

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He’s sliced off a bit of Sponge Bob Square Pants!!!!  The Cheese Master hosting the demonstration and explanations for the tourists.