Who loves cheese?
If you are a cheese lover and happen to be in The Netherlands, make your way to visit Gouda. You must be familiar with Gouda cheese, right? So, why not visit the place where the Gouda cheese is born? 😀
From April to August, every Thursday morning, one can visit the cheese market in Gouda. The location is in front of the City Hall. It’s madness. As a cheese lover, you’d go crazy! Tons and tons of cheese are displayed on the street, cheese farmers and traders bargain in such a way, they’ve been doing this for hundreds of years! You can also come across the local farmers in their wooden shoes. At first, I thought it’s only for “tourist attraction”. But, apparently, according to the locals, up until now, the Dutch farmers still wear those wooden shoes! Wow. I wonder whether those shoes are comfortable to walk with! They seem ok walking around with them, though.
It’s better to visit the cheese market early in the morning, because it’s close at 1pm. So, make sure you wake up early! I imagine how it was back then, hundreds of years ago, when the farmers sell their cheese to their customers or traders. And the scene before me is pretty close to it. The Dutch still maintain the “tradition” and they even make some girls wear the Dutch “milk lady” costume to give a more perfect touch to the whole scene. Awesome.
And oh, not only that, those farmers carry the cheese with horse carts! I love it.
An entire cheese (one wheel) weighs around 10 kilograms and it costs around 100 Euro, depending on the age of the cheese. The older the cheese, the more expensive it is.
The cheese market is pretty crowded. You can hear the whole bargaining process of the cheese trading through the loud speaker. The locals and tourists blend together. Approaching the closing time, the cheese farmers start to load the cheese to the horse carts. They make a line and throw the cheese one by one to one another until it reaches the cart. And slowly, you’ll see the numbers of cheese displayed in front of the City Hall decrease… as the crowd fade away..
After experiencing the fun at the cheese market, I head to the gorgeous City Hall building with Sienna Little Explorer and my Mom. Apparently, the back part of the City Hall, the one facing the cheese market has turned into a lovely cafe. We have some drinks there and I feed Sienna there, too. She takes a nap after I breastfeed her. I’d love to think of how fancy she is, taking a nap in the oldest gothic city hall in the Netherlands! This gothic City Hall was established in 1450 and is now serves as a museum and venue for wedding receptions, parties, etc. The interior itself dates from the 17th and 18th century.
The room in the upper floor is quite special. It’s used to hold meetings and once you’re there, you could smell the wood that’s dominating the entire room’s structure.
I also love the stairs. The handle of the stairs is very gothic, to my opinion. And, if you pay attention, the first stairs from the bottom are uneven. It shows that people tend to step on that side, making the stairs leaning down. It’s just amazing to note that this thing happens over the years.
While you’re in the area, go visit the Cheese Museum. Even though it’s pretty small, but you can learn about the cheese making process and see all the tools they use to make cheese. And after that, you can buy all the Gouda cheese you want in the shop at the ground floor! Woohooo!!!
We also visit the Sint Janskerk, this 123 meters long church is the longest in Holland and is world-famous for its Gouda windows. The windows are super tall and impressive.
Have a great “cheesy” day in Gouda, folks! 🙂