from Utrecht to Gouda
So many observations and experiences are tucked into each bike ride. When you are covering 25 miles and passing through quaint towns, by canals, through farmland and forests... there is a lot to see, hear, think about and remember. And I am finding that if I don't write down my findings from one trip, it begins to seep into a collective memory of rides... and I may forget if I was passing from Alkmaar to Harlaam or just arrived in Utrecht or Gouda. And where was that great market? The one where we bought the cheese and croissants and met that nice lady? Remember those adorable baby goats?
So you see, writing to you helps me keep it all straight.
TODAY we rode from Utrecht to Gouda. On our way we cycled through a town called Montfoort and landed for lunch in Oudewater, most notably to stop and visit the witches' wag. It is a museum/small building tribute to a place where 'witches were weighed.'
There was a sad time in history where individuals [mostly women] were accused of being witches; being weighed was a measure used to prove their guilt or innocence. Witches capable of flying and trickery were believed to be lighter than they appeared. While many scales were purposefully rigged, this scale in Oudewater was famous for being fair. It saved many, many lives.
After being weighed... we snagged our picnic lunch and found an outdoor table in a cobblestone square (Oudewater). Since we are aiming for a tight daily food budget, we have found it infinitely useful to grab our lunch from the grocers on our way out of town. Then, when hunger strikes we are poised with sandwiches and drinks, novelty snacks and fruit. If we find an outdoor market (which we often do), we might pick up some pastries for a mid-ride treat. Lunch was great; and we tried syrup wafels or stroopwafels and fell in love.
[Note: stroopwafels originated in Gouda, and are two waffle looking wafers smacked together with a syrup/brown sugar/butter/cinnamon. They are sweet and round and thin and soft and yummy.]
We arrived in Gouda and were immediately in love with its canals, homes, restaurants and center plaza (the center plaza was large enough for the boys to practice long soccer kicks---we spent multiple rounds of hanging out in the plaza for just that reason). After touching base at the bed & breakfast (with wi-fi!!) we tromped out the door to find dinner. We LOVE the location of our little couple-night abode. It is right in town. We found a lovely meal (AND we are getting much better at reading/understanding Dutch menue!) and then the boys played soccer in the square.
Oh, and about learning Dutch menu terms... mom, dad: you said if I was a boy you were going to name me 'Kip.' Shall I assume you did not know that in Dutch this means 'chicken'?