Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gouda and Den Haag

Another weekend for exploring.  We went to The Hague this weekend but on the way we stopped in Gouda.  Yes, like the cheese but the Dutch don’t pronounce it the way we think.  In Dutch G’s are pronounced like a guttural ‘Ch’ similar to the sound you hear in German and Yiddish.  Also, the ‘ou’ in Gouda is pronounced like the ‘ou’ in out.  So Gouda in Dutch rhymes with Chowda.

Anyway, Gouda is a really cute typically Dutch town with a central square and wonderful churches and architecture.  The town has it’s share of small windy streets and canals.  But the Saturday morning market is wonderful.  Meats, Cheeses, fruits and vegetables are standard fair but our favorite was this little bread and pasty stand.  We shared an apple turnover and I have to say it’s probably the best thing I’ve eaten in the last two weeks.  I won’t even bother to ask how much butter went into a single pastry . . . better I don’t know.
Gouda, NL
We left Gouda for Den Haag.  It’s a much bigger city and for our first visit, we focused on the palace and surrounding grounds.  It’s is certainly impressive and history of Dutch government and the Binnenhof were amazing.  The palace is surrounded by water on one side.   That ‘one side’ looks to be about 2-3 football fields long!  We’ll visit Den Haag again now that we know our way around a little better.

The palace in Den Haag, NL

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