Gouda, Den Haag, Delta Works and Gorinchem
09.18.2012 - 09.23.2012 75 °F
We were absolutely in love with Gouda from the minute we arrived. It is like a very rural, small, version of Amsterdam with walking streets, canals, windmills, and cute little shops. We met up with Ralf and had a great time walking around the streets sampling stroop waffles with the kids and talking with what must have been the world’s last living clay pipe maker.
We then headed to the coast of Holland to Den Haag, home of the international court of justice, the flame of the Peace Palace, and a fresh supply of raw herring, which the locals like to cover in oil and raw onions and then pop ‘em down the hatch!
Den Haag is also the home of MC Escher! About 75% of his artwork is on display in what used to be the Queen’s winter palace. It was really interesting to walk through a palace turned into an art installation. The paintings were fantastic and so were all the descriptions of Escher’s different techniques.
Our last stop in the Netherlands was in Gorinchem where we met up with our friends Dan and Sam (whom we first met in Laos, and then again in Vietnam). We had an amazing taste of real Dutch life and visited one of the 7 Wonders of the Civil Engineering World… the Delta Works. Since Holland is mostly below sea level, there is an enormous amount of energy put into keeping the country from being under water.
As we said our goodbyes, Dan and Sam surprised us with one last Dutch tradition – the Flugal! It is a syrup like shot that must be taken while wearing the yellow cap of the bottle on your nose, if the cap falls off, you must drink another one…