A Cycle to Cheesy Gouda

Today was going to be a cycle of the complete unknown – we had no idea where we were going.  Last night the city of Haarlem had given us a live music concert, a much-needed hearty meal and a very comfy bed for the night.

At the time the question of ‘ Where to next?’ wasn’t required…

The following morning the entire Netherlands lay before us.  Directions for far-flung places were waiting to guide us out of the city.  It was a matter of close your eyes and like candy in a candy shop, take your pick and hope each morsel is full of wonderful surprises.

That is what we did.   A postcard stand had a photo of a city called Gouda.  The photo was of wheels of yellow cheese lying in row’s on cobbled pavements.  Our curiosity made us decide to end our day there.  Simple!

Our departure from Haarlem was slow as we got distracted by the sights, colours and smells of a busy outdoor market.  A rainbow of flowers, pointy wooden clogs and fresh produce stacked in orderly piles were all attractive to the eye and had us mingling with the locals and purchasing tasty items to snack on later.

Back on our bicycles, we eventually followed a canal that lead us our of the city.  The stark grey clouds hadn’t moved from the previous day and the landscape around us appeared grey and depressed.

The cycle paths allowed us a meeting of ways with motorised vehicles  and showed us how clever the dutch are at planning to allow bicycles and vehicles to work alongside each other.

We pedalled under and over busy motorways, whizzed through curved tunnels and crossed roads with bicycle priority buttons.  It all seemed so easy!  Amsterdam was close, but we decided to stay on its outskirts and by-pass it.

We pedalled past a couple of random neon lit coffee shops ( where marijuana is readily available ) and away from the built up areas to enter a small rustic village with lily pad covered canals, lush gardens and a serenity that made you reflect on the true beauty of nature.

To continue our journey to Gouda we had to cycle aboard a tiny foot ferry to putt us across a wide canal.  To my amazement the jolly-boat driver enthusiastically let me steer the boat.  With me behind the wheel, Frank and the Boyfriend thought the short ferry ride was more frightening than relaxing!

The land was as flat as a piece of paper with the wobble of the water flowing through it.  Our bicycle wheels were certainly in cruise control.  The grassy pastures and tiny glimpses of sunshine made our journey all worth while even if we had no clue where we were exactly.

 A lunch stop at a modern eatery sitting by its lonesome on the water’s edge was ideal.  As we sat,  small colourful sailboats would float by only to then slink behind tall wavy grasses and disappear.

Time was on our side as we slowly pedalled onwards past docile farm animals, row upon row of onion fields and elegant farm houses.  Gouda was waiting for us, eager to show us the beach ball sized wheels of yellow cheese just as we had seen in the postcard.

Our taste buds were treated to a variety of cheese flavours before exploring the cities cobbled streets, canals and interesting architecture.  I would have to say Gouda was like picking the best sort of candy in the candy shop!

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19 Responses to A Cycle to Cheesy Gouda

  1. Reblogged this on n e w d i g i t a l s c a p e s and commented:
    A biker’s delight. Holland.

  2. A wonerful set of photos and commentary Beautiful.

  3. You passed your boat driving test?? They should have given you a medal in the form of a big Gouda cheese… : )

    My favorite line was how the colorful sailboats would slink behind the tall wavy grasses. I didn’t know boats were capable of slinking, but I am now a believer!

    Loved the photo of the lily pad-covered canal– glad you didn’t mistake it for a bike path… : P

    Great post, thanks.

  4. AndrewGills says:

    Looks like a fantastic ride. Next time I go to Holland to visit my Oma I will have to go cycling.

  5. Hi there! Nice post.. Gouda is indeed a nice place. There are lots of cute little villages in the Netherlands, and an amazing cycling infrastructure. Like you, I am also from down under (Australia), and have been living in the Netherlands for a while. I love cycling here!

    Keep up the cycling and enjoying life!

  6. suzecycling says:

    Your photos are always drop dead gorgeous … thanks for sharing them! And the trip is fun to read about, makes me want to ride somewhere, someday ……ummm, flat!

  7. Lucky you. Beautiful sites. Tasty cheeses. I’m enjoying your journey vicariously.

  8. tmso says:

    A wonderful ride. Thanks for sharing. (Is that where Gouda was ‘invented’?)

  9. Bill Chance says:

    Great entry and beautiful photos. I’ve always loved Gouda cheese – it would be so cool to try some at the source.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Looks like fun! Neat photos!

  11. Very nice post. I’ve only been to Gouda once, and that was by accident – the wind just happened to be blowing that way. It was a pleasant surprise, particularly that overblown town hall in the centre of the square. Happy riding!

    • lovethybike says:

      Gouda was an accident for us too! if it hadn’t been for the picture postcard we might have ended up in Amsterdam instead? It is a lovely place to explore – we certainly had a good time! Thanks for the comments – always good to hear from fellow bloggers!

  12. rt says:

    Lovely pictures! I love Dutch bikes :)

    • lovethybike says:

      Thanks! Dutch bikes are very stylish. Not your touring sort of bike, but a perfect city bike… I love checking out how individuals decorate their dutch bikes – so interesting!

      • rt says:

        Couldn’t agree more. I have been photographing bikes for years and Holland was such paradise.
        Thanks for sharing your adventures – it’s a lot of fun reading your posts!
        Cheers!

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