Monday, July 6, 2009

Cheesy Fun in Gouda!

Karen and Brady were due to return to the States for a couple of months so we planned to say our farewells in cheesy style! That Thursday also happened to be the kickoff of the summer long Gouda cheese festival in the Netherlands. So we just had to go and see what it was all about. The festival started late June and is every Thursday morning from 10-12 into August.

This man was a hoot. We hadn't been there 30 seconds before he came up and asked if we wanted to take his picture. I wasn't about to let him down! Check out all that cheese. They sell it auction-style right there in the market square with an auctioneer and loudspeaker and everything!
Wooden shoes and all!

Connor wasn't sure at first about "Gouda's Beauties" all decked up and passing out cheese, but she warmed right up.

That is a lot of heavy cheese!

After all the initial fanfare Brady and Connor got a little used to the strange concept of so much cheese in the street. It wasn't long before they were beating on the blocks like drums!

And sitting on the cheese! Karen told the kids that they were "wheels" of cheese and they hooped and hollered at that. How could cheese be a wheel? Strange concept, I know.
Connor of course couldn't get enough of the neigh neigh!

Did you know that Gouda (the cheese and the town) are actually pronounced HOW-DA? It doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

I bought a small round of yummy peppered Gouda from the surrounding market to bring home for Kirk. But not before we sampled away. It was delicious! I was a little overwhelmed at all of the choices, but the market lady thankfully spoke good English and didn't rush me despite the growing line of customers.
Hooray for Gouda!

The market square was busy and beautiful. It was definitely a different style than the Belgian Grote Markets. I just love the Netherlands. Everyone on bikes, flowers everywhere, and a carefree welcoming spirit abounds.

We saw this cheese-mobile where they were giving out cheese and you can ride along for a couple of Euros. We tried to take the kids on it after lunch but the horse had stopped for the day. Too bad!We found this great place EET-ZE! to eat lunch. It was cool with great food and plenty of room for our strollers (always key!) It was funny because we were having trouble finding a place to eat and I ran into a girl who looked in the know. When I asked if she had a place to recommend she answered, "Yep, my Mom's place, EET-ZE!" which turned out to be only a couple of blocks away. It was so small town and wonderful!We took one more spin of the town square as all of the market decor was taken away. There was this old-timey street music box chiming away. The kids thought it was terrific and we danced our way out of Gouda to the melody.Yeah for Gouda! It was a long day trip - and if I go again I might consider taking the train just because the traffic is tough. But we were so happy to join in the fun. We hugged our friends goodbye and are counting down the days til their return!

1 comment:

Jen said...

Such cute pictures! That looked like such a fun field trip for the kids :)