Gouda/ Utrecht H&M

Gouda Travel Blog

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The Town Hall

I really should get more imaginative with the titles!

On Saturday, I went to Gouda with Peter (one of my colleagues) and his girlfriend Kati.  Yes, Gouda is where the cheese comes from, although the guidebook earnestly reminds us that the cheese actually comes from the countryside near there, for all the world as if it's expecting us to believe that cows roam the streets all by themselves.  Gouda could not look more Dutch if it was blue and white and painted on a plate; the city centre is full of gables and flags and bicycles.  Oh, and cats, for some reason.

First, we had a quick look around the townhall.  It was very pretty, and it's always nice to see that buildings like that are still being used properly.

  You can tell; there's a slightly wobbly looking tea urn hidden on the stairs near the ceremonial pike-things and the sketches of all the mayors.  The wobbly tea urn - universal symbol of local government...  I probably should have been paying more attention to the exhibition about the municipal links to an African town, but the labels were in Dutch.  I read Dutch a little, but nowhere near well enough for that sort of exhibition yet.  But the building is very, very nice, as you might be able to see in the picture if I figure out how to rotate it!  Next, we went to see the stained glass windows in the main church, which are actually very impressive, if a little samey after the fortieth or so.  They are really beautiful, and I would be very interested to know how they survived the reformation, given that most of the other churches in protestant countries lost their glass and their statues at that point.
Me
 

We also went to the Gouda Museum across the path.  Entrance for the church covers the museum as well, although this is puzzling because as far as we could tell, the church costs two and a bit euros and the museum should cost about four.  Needless to say, I didn't complain, and wandered around looking at how little medical equipment has changed and learning about the tendency of the local militia to get very drunk at their meetings.  And after that we wandered about for a while, I decided to go back to go shopping if the opportunity to go without a boy ever arose, and got a coffee.  Then we went home and  spent the afternoon in Utrecht reading a Neil Gaiman book in a pavement cafe.

A lion. Does anyone speak Latin?

On Sunday, I had every intention of Making the Best of the Sunshine, and had a lazy afternoon instead.  After a bit of wandering around, which is getting to be a hobby in its own right, I decided that I really do need some new clothes.  My jeans are threatening to disintegrate, and given that I got them in the USA three years ago I decided that some new trousers were in order.  Once I remembered that this always means taking a four inch hem up I got some skirts instead, in H&M. 

H&M, for any Americans reading, is pretty much a Europe wide phenomenon.  And I tend to tell people I love H&M, which isn't true.  I hate shopping in H&M, and only do it because the clothes are cheap and reliably fit me - apart from the hem issue - and are not bad value.  The reason I hate H&M is because it is inhabitted by teenage girls who, whilst they aren't doing anything actually wrong, are not doing anything wrong right in front of the thing you want to try on.  No amount of excuse me pleasing in any language will shift them. Somehow the same girls are in front of you in the queue for the changing rooms, require all of their friends'opinions on all of the outfits twice, and despite the fact they are thin enough to make Kate Moss self conscious, are talking loudly about how fat they have got.  That includes the Dutch ones - I know the "look at this fat" grab; it's a pan European gesture!  But still, I have three new skirts for about 70 Euros so life is sunny again.  Especially as I escaped in time to enjoy the last of the sunshine, and the landlord has installed a genuinely impressive new shower.

:)

sarahelaine says:
thanks!
Posted on: Jul 06, 2008
timmmmie says:
Nice to read this! I live near Gouda and I'm always wondered about the populairity by tourists!
Posted on: Jul 04, 2008
sarahelaine says:
Really? It's the dirt cheap bottom of the market here - I could never quite afford American Eagle, apart from the old cords my mother keeps trying to throw out!
Posted on: Dec 21, 2007
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The Town Hall
The Town Hall
Me
Me
A lion.  Does anyone speak Latin?
A lion. Does anyone speak Latin?
Gouda
photo by: moshers_moll