Boating in Holland – Part 3

The start of this holiday is – on this link.

What to do and see in Gouda? Head straight to the VVV (Tourism Info) and get a copy of their map.

Cheese market in Gouda

They have a historical walk you can do yourself. Well preserved old buildings such as the City Hall, Market Square, Sint-Janskerk (St Johns Church) are located along with other key buildings. A bit further out you can visit a hofje (communal garden) or three, a lock on the canal and a couple of museums.

There was a vintage market happening the day we were there. Our boat is 21 years old. It has a CD player. I found a stall selling second hand CDs – 4 for €10. I bought eight CDs. Bon Jovi, Eagles, Level 42, Tears for Fears, Simple Minds, Elvis, Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen. We also topped up on provisions. When we collected our clean laundry my other half was well and truly laden down on the bicycle. He rode home and I walked after him. We had a shower and I got cracking making us a salad supper. Next thing a flotilla of Danish boats came into the marina. Twenty five boats left Denmark but only

Stadshuis Gouda

five were able to tie up in our marina. One boat double banked with us. Very civilised mariners – so my partner said. They dropped their ensign at sunset. And ONLY walked over the front deck. Stuff I didn’t even know was important.

Thursdays they re-enact the cheese trading process at the square in Gouda and we were keen to see it happen. Locals dress up in traditional clothing and pretend to make, weigh, sell, do

Street market Gouda

what-ever, with Gouda cheese. We watched for a bit and then went with our friends to a cafe where we did a bit of planning. We collected their luggage, did a mini shop up, and went back to the boat. Supper was veggie and falafel wraps on the back deck. And Belgian beer. And wine.

We got going in the morning and made our way to Rotterdam. The inland waterways and canals are always perfect and calm. No rolling about. But the River Maas is tidal. And very busy. Big working barges create a wash and our little boat was rocking about good and proper. We ducked into Veerhaven and found one of the last spaces to

Skyline in Rotterdam

moor. That said, there is ALWAYS more space if boats start double banking. We finished our on-board lunch and went exploring with our friends.

We found the VVV (tourist info), got maps and info. Then we found a cafe and had not one but TWO rounds of beers. Round One we each had a different beer but Round Two we all had Texels Beers. Texel is the most populated of the Frisian Islands. It’s like one of the the Hebridian Islands would be to the United Kingdom. We try to have a different local beer but we also can’t help but be drawn to our favourites. It’s really annoying when we find a fabulous beer and then can’t find it ever again. Kasteel springs to mind and I fear Texels too. Grrrr.

On our way back home we stopped in at Albert Heijn

Lunch on the back deck

supermarket and bought provisions for a braai (bbq) supper. I made an aubergine parcel to bake on the fire and a big fat green salad. The others had salmon seasoned with lemon, olive oil and black pepper. Not going to lie, sitting chatting on the back deck, under the stars, eating good food and drinking wine is not a bad way to spend an evening.

Cube buildings Rotterdam

Day Two in Rotterdam we had a late start. Brekka was toast and cheese or Marmite or peanut butter. And tea and coffee. My other half and I set off leaving our friends behind to do their own thing. We started at the Maritime Museum. Spent at least 4 hours wandering around there. Then we went to find the Vegan Organic Bistro – Gare du Nord – to book for later the evening. After that we went to Mini World, a model train exhibition. We got there too late and decided to rather come back the next day. Our walk back to the boat was via China Town where we found an Asian supermarket. We spent €10 and came out with 1 kg fresh tofu, 400g tempeh, a large handful of fresh ginger plus large packs of seaweed cake, dried mushrooms (or so we thought) and desiccated coconut. We must have walked for almost 6 hours before we got back to the boat.

Back at the boat, we showered, got ready, and walked another 3/4 hour back to Gare du Nord. How did

Tram Rotterdam

we live before We find the most amazing places all over the world on their website. Gare du Nord is an old train brought back to life as a restaurant. They grow their own food. And teach kids from local schools how to make veggie food. They charge €19.50 per head for a 3 course meal. Our starter was a Spicy Sweet Potato Soup. Main was Bulgar Wheat with Wilted Kale, “No Meat” Lentil Balls with Tomato Sauce and a

Trying to read e-mails with one bar strength

Veggie stack with Pea Puree. Desert was a Citrus and Blueberry Tart.
We had an organic wine from the south of France which cost €17.50.

After our meal we took the tram back to our boat and sat talking until, I can’t actually remember, but I think it was 1.00am.

Click – here – for Part 4 of this travel blog.

For more on other places we have visited, go to the top of this page and open – My Holidays and Trips.

See you soon.


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