For no particular reason, we wanted to spend one night in Gouda, perhaps because we so enjoy the cheese from there. We chose well. It’s a fine place to visit and we didn’t find it to be overrun with tourists this early in the season. Our small hotel was right around the corner from the largest cheese shop in town. We were able to do a lot of sampling.

Biggest of the many cheese shops we saw.

Biggest of the many cheese shops we saw.

That's a lot of cheese

That’s a lot of cheese

Plenty of sampling to be done

Plenty of sampling to be done

Even before we left home on this vacation trip, we learned that the natives pronounce the name Gouda like How Da, not the American way of Goo Da. Once we got a little practice we never again feel right by slipping back into the American pronunciation.

Gouda has its city hall plop in the middle of the town market square. It’s a bit forlorn here by itself, but on market days it must fit right in. The weekly cheese auction takes place here but it’s mostly for show these days. We missed it.

City Hall in all its splendor

City Hall in all its splendor

Facing the market square

Facing the market square

In the old days, cheese was auctioned in the market, then taken to the weighing house to determine the weight and complete the transaction. Here’s the weighing house on the square.

Cheese weighing house

Cheese weighing house

The weighing officials

The weighing officials

Canals run here and there and even a few tulips were still in bloom.

Near our hotel

Near our hotel

The way home

The way home

Late blooming tulips

Late blooming tulips

Our street with cheese wheel decorations

Our street with cheese wheel decorations

Doesn’t most every town have a famous citizen? The 16th C. philosopher Erasmus spent his youth here. He is well honored.

Erasmus - Dutch Renaissance Man

Erasmus – Dutch Renaissance Man

If you are a fan of Andy Goldsworthy’s balanced rock creations you might well thrill to find a small one tucked away in a downtown cloister garden, by the garden’s cafe terrace.

An Andy Goldsworthy creation

An Andy Goldsworthy creation

Caretakers of chastity

Caretakers of chastity

It's hard to keep those virgins in line

It’s hard to keep those virgins in line

Goodness, these kids today are just out of control.

Goodness, these kids today are just out of control.

It's time to say farewell

It’s time to say farewell

It’s time now to rush along and see some more of the province of Holland, the western side of the Netherlands.

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