Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gouda: the city, cheese & Woerden

We have mentioned Dutch cheese before, this time we will highlight Gouda cheese. It comes from the city of that name, which is about 20 miles from Rotterdam. The 1 million cows in the area were mentioned in last weeks blog. They provide the milk for the great cheese and other products that come from a 20 mile radius from Gouda. The first picture below shows the old city center in Gouda. The buildings are very quaint and beautiful. Many of them have been restored. There are some walking streets in Gouda and the neighboring city of Woerden where we found this Gouda cheese store. Even in the fall the front of the store is open to the public. The cheese "wheels" are readily seen. There are many varieties of cheese and it is hard to select which ones to buy.

The smaller city of Woerden has an ancient history, it goes back to about 300 A.D. an the Roman occupation. My wife and I are standing in front of a mural of the old Roman village that existed on the site of this parking garage that we are standing in. We were able to see the outline of the old walls of the Roman fortress. We were told that when they excavated for the garage they found the remains of an old Roman ship, tools, weapons and other implements.

It is visits to places like these that help us get a better perspective of the people who live here. It helps us appreciate the native Dutch and the foreigners who come here for a better life. We teach many ethnic and cultural groups here. At present we are assisting the young elders in teaching a Dutch woman, and a Belgian man. Then there is the part member family from Portugal, and several people from Curacao. This morning we attended the baptism of two people, one was Dutch and the other from Uganda. We are looking forward to another baptism this coming Saturday. Also, we will be having a Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant which is owned by a man who was baptized this morning. The field is white and is being harvested.

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