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Published: July 25th 2019
Cheese seller and buyer negotiate price
Using the old ways, Slapping of hands constitutes a legally binding contract in negotiations.
The Gouda Cheese Market is only on Thursday’s. So that’s where we headed today. About a two-hour drive got us there and we met up with friend Hans again, this time joined by his daughter Sterre-Lieve as well as his son we met several days ago. I believe we may be talking them into visiting us next year. Marion and I had visited the market back in 2002 with our daughters, but we did a more thorough tour of the city today. As with many of the Dutch cities, Gouda has a lot of history that dates back hundreds of years, not sure but at least back to say 1200 or so.
The Sint-Jan church dates back to the 1500’s and was built as a Catholic Church, as all of the older churches were, but was handed over to the Protestants after Reformation. It is still a high-end “museum”, not only because of its size and splendour, but primarily because of its stained glass windows. These windows were donated and paid for by royals and dictators alike. One Spanish King actually put himself on one of the two largest windows within the scene of the Last Supper with one of
the Apostles pointing him out to Jesus. New meaning to the word vanity! We all took the audio tour that explained all windows and we sure learned a lot about history and religion (again).
After a leisurely walk back to where we started, Hans and family left to visit some other friends and Marion and I headed back to nearby The Hague to do some more sightseeing there. Marion likes her meals on time so our first stop there was at Barlow Bar & Restaurant to sample a typical Dutch meal called uitsmijter, or bouncer. Three fried eggs with orange yokes well done, served with some ham and melted cheese over full grain bread and a small salad on the side. I told Marion that in our teens we ordered this meal before the real bouncer threw us out for not drinking enough. Believe it or not.
It was a 20-minute walk from there to the Panorama Mesdag Museum. The whole area is closed to traffic except of course bicycles and scooters. It was hot, very hot. I know folks back home complain about temperatures nearing 40C with the humidex, but here it was 40C without the humidex.
Catering to tourists, with plastic cheese
The real cheese is covered under the white sheets.
With the humidity I estimate it would have been in the high forties! In fact as we approached Eindhoven on the way home, more inland and a bit more south, our car thermometer read 41C. Unheard of in these parts, for anybody living here today!
The Mesdag Panorama is amazing! I had seen it before, but not Marion. As a student of the fine art of painting she was amazed by the technical quality, the lighting, the perspective of this 360 degree painting depicting The Hague some 140 years ago at this very place, the highest dune in the area. The painting measures 14 meters high and 120 meters all the way around. Panoramas were very popular at the time this was created around 1880 and this one is now the last one in the world in its original setting. A must see!
We could have parked closer to the museum, but we would have missed the Mauritshuis, the Parliament buildings “Binnenhof”, the Ridderspoort where riders and horses enter for ceremonial royal participation in democracy, and some unexpected women’s long jumping competition in the square where the parking garage is. So yes, we suffered for another 16-minute walk
in 40C temperatures, but we think it was worth it!
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