Germany and the Enclave Tour 2015, Part 19: Gouda, a beautiful small town famous for its cheese

Germany and the enclave Tour 2015 autumn
Germany and the enclave Tour 2015 autumn

A small and lovely town in the South of Holland, famous for its name but not so well known for the town itself

Date of visit: 30 October 2015, weather: sunny

中央広場近くの素敵なB&Bに夜に到着

This was probably the most difficult day of the trip to decide where to stay. I wasn’t sure if there was a moderately touristy and reasonably sized city in South Holland. But I didn’t want to stay in a big city either.

そして、悩んだ挙句、見所はあるのかよくわからなかった「ゴーダ」を選びました。バールレナッサウ出発時にBooking.comで予約。そうです、あのチーズでおなじみの名前です。この街の名前自体に由来するのです。

風車網のある村キンデルダイクからは車で1時間。キンデルダイクを出た時は日没直後だったので、到着時にはすっかりあたりは真っ暗になっていました。ゴーダの街までは比較的順調にたどり着いたのですが、この日の宿泊場所を毎度ながら旧市街の中に取ったので、街中に入ってから目的地を探すのにとても苦労しました。道は狭く殆どが一方通行。しかもガードレールなどない運河網がくまなく流れているいかにもオランダ的な街。車や家々の壁に当たらないように、そして運河に落ちないよう気をつけながらの神経質な運転が求められましたが、どうにかして目的のホテルを発見。B&Bです。写真は翌日朝撮影したものです。

However, there was no sign of anyone. I called the hotel with a lot of anxiety, wondering if they were really doing it today or if I could make a reservation safely.

First of all, the parking place of the car was troubled though it was relieved. The front of the hotel is a normal residential area and the alley in front is very narrow and there is no space at all to park on the street. It seems that there is no choice but to parallel along the canal which I saw a lot on the way to come this apparently. The same photo was taken the next day morning.

We then somehow found a good gap along the canal and parked. Now we can stay at the hotel with peace of mind. When we parked the car and came back to the hotel again, the hotel staff seemed to have just arrived. It seems that the owner of the hotel is a woman who is very brave like the lady in the witch’s house mail. “She said, “I was worried because I couldn’t get through to you even though I called you many times! I was told. I couldn’t explain in English, so I lied to her that I couldn’t pick up the phone because I was so busy driving (laughs).

We then checked in without incident, left our bags in the room and headed to the center of town for dinner. This day we chose a small local French restaurant instead of Dutch food. There were many restaurants around the central marque and square, but all of them seemed to be fast food for tourists. Honestly speaking, I didn’t have a good impression of Dutch food, that was one of the reasons.

The taste of the food was not so good. It was not as good as Italian and French food. Still, I was relieved because German food had been continued for a long time recently.

翌朝、ホテルで朝食。午前8時を指定。このB&Bには我々夫婦の他にアメリカ人ご夫婦が一組。ご主人がアメリカ人、そして奥様がオランダ人。

Her husband used to live in Yokosuka, Japan over 40 years ago. He seemed to be a military person. Maybe that’s why the Great East Japan Earthquake was so shocking. I was in Tokyo, but my husband was in Yokosuka. “I was in Tokyo on the day of the earthquake, but by the end of the week the trains were running normally, so I was able to go to work without any problems. He said he was going to his wife’s parents’ house near Gouda on that day.

My English was very poor, but the hotel hostess helped me from time to time, and we could have a smooth conversation. People who host a lot of people can interpret and communicate well even if their English is not so good as ours. It’s amazing how global it is.

Breakfast was over in no time while having a pleasant conversation. After breakfast, we packed our bags and checked out just before 9am.

Street parking is along the canal. I’m gonna fall in.

By the way, parking was parked in a parallel row along the canal like this about 2 minutes walk from the hotel.

If you look carefully, there is a lot of space on the left side, but it is very dark, and the driver’s seat is on the canal side, and the canal doesn’t have a fence like in Japan. But in such a situation, it was the best I could do.

In addition, there happened to be no car in front of us in the morning when we took the photo, but there was when we arrived last night. But fortunately, there are not many people who stop at the last minute like in Rome or Paris, so we were saved.

一旦車に荷物をおき、そしてパーキングチケットを購入。観光に向かいました。なお、夕方18時から翌日9時までは駐車は無料です。9時からは料金が発生するので、必ずチケットを買わなければなりません。パーキングチケットを買う機械はいたるところにあります。夜、深夜が無料なのはヨーロッパの地方都市ではスタンダードだと思います。

ちなみにゴーダの街には旧市街の周りにいくつか公共の駐車場があったようでした。ホテルで貰ったパンフレットの地図に書いてありました。

調査はしていませんが、おそらく旧市街よりも外側のほうが駐車料金は安いはず。したがって、無理に旧市街に停めるよりもよかったのかもしれません。とはいえ、狭いが便利なところに停めるのもそれはそれでヨーロッパドライブならではの「粋」といえますけどね。

St. Janss Church, with its distinctive stained glass windows, is a symbol of the city.

このゴーダは午前のみの観光。それほど大きな街ではないので十分のはず。まず街の中央マルクト広場南東にある「聖ヤンス教会」へと向かいました。入り口はマルクト広場とは正反対の南東の方向にひっそりとありました。朝一番なのでどうやら我々がこの日最初の観光客だったようです。

I bought an admission ticket at the entrance and was given a piece of paper with Japanese explanatory notes. Surprisingly firm Japanese translation.

This church seems to have been lost several times in the past, but the present one was rebuilt in 1593.

The first thing to note about this church is its size, or rather its length. The “length” is 123m, which is the longest of all Dutch churches.

Was a dinner party held or will be held? It was very impressive to see the table settings all over the church. I wonder how many seats there are….

Another highlight is the stained glass. They were mainly made in the late 16th century. They were made by the rulers and sponsors of the time to show off their power, and the reason why they are still intact today is because their cartoons have been preserved. It is said that the reason why these stained glass windows are still intact today is because the blueprints have been preserved.

The pipe organ was also very impressive. This was also recorded in the guide. It was built between 1732 and 1736 by Jacob Francois Moreau, an organ builder.

A small and beautiful city

We left the church and walked around the city for a while. The city of the Netherlands is like a theme park made of miniatures, as is the capital, Amsterdam.

And this is the center of the city, “Marktplatz”.

It is not a large building, but I think it is very grand and tasteful.

There is a cheese market in this square at certain times of the year. The following photo is also from the brochure we got at the hotel. Too bad.

After all, cheese is synonymous with this city!

So, Gouda is a cheese. While walking around the town, we found a shop that looked like a typical shop. I decided to buy some souvenirs here.

We bought a few of these for ourselves and a few for people we know, without worrying about whether we could eat them or not.

This is the cash register, and it’s already exciting. When I asked if I could take a picture of it because it was so nice, she said, “Keep taking pictures! They are very kind.

By the way, there was a picture of this shop on the pamphlet we got at the hotel.

It’s a very small city, so I think a few hours is enough for sightseeing. I was very impressed with the beauty of the city, even though I chose it randomly. Even though the name Gouda is famous, I really wish more people in Japan would come here.

But this is the best part of European road trip. This is the end of Gouda sightseeing. We will go to the next destination.

In addition, this area is all wetlands. There are many canals around. Just before we left the city, we saw such a scene. I guess it is a unique experience to drive in Holland to see such a drawbridge.

天気は上々。次の訪問地も楽しみです。(続く)

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