Netherlands waterway cruise – Alphen aan der Rijn to Gouda

Traditional Dutch dress in Gouda

Tuesday 24th June

After a leisurely breakfast on board, we walked to the station to see our friends Kieron and Caroline off.

This was the first time we had had friends travelling on board with us, and it had gone pretty well.

Next set of friends were to join us in Gouda.

On the Gouwe River – railway swing bridge

The route to Gouda was quite straightforward – down the Gouwe River, through 2 small towns and into Gouda, but a lot of bridges.

We set off about 10.30 and immediately had to wait about 20 minutes for Koningin Julianabrug to open for us.

After that, all bridges opened timeously, with the occassional call on the VHF to help.

Hefbrug at Boskoop on the Gouwe

Through 2 more bridges and we were clear of Alphen a/d Rijn.

On the Gouwe River we encountered three hefbrugge or lift bridges.

We had not seen this particular type of lift bridge
anywhere before.

Also all bridges were operating during lunch hour, which is not always the case.

Stadsaal in Gouda

So, several hefbridges, 1 swing bridge, a number of BBs (beweeg brugge) and a few fixed bridges later we arrived in Gouda.

We decided to try the marina rather than the community moorings closer to the centre.

Mainly for the ablution facilities, and also as we hoped there would be a washing machine.

No luck with the washing machine, but the amenities and wifi were adequate, along with electricity and fresh water included in the mooring cost.

The havenmeester did tell us where there was a laundrette.

Yours truly – with marina bike in Gouda

As it was quite far away the marina lent us a bicycle which we used extensively to do shopping and visit the laundrette, or waserij as they are called here.

Sint Jansekerk – Gouda

We spent the next day, Wednesday, generally catching up on the laundry, shopping and internet stuff, as well as a walk around the town.

The next day, Thursday, was the weekly cheese market, which of course is what Gouda is famous for.

In the old days, the farmers brought their cheeses to the town square, where they traded with the local merchants via a traditional ‘hand-slap’ bargaining process.

Traditional Hand Slap bargaining in Gouda

This is no longer done in reality, but it is re-enacted now every Thursday as a tourist attaction.

After watching the festivities for a while, we met up with Caron and Carl, the next friends to join us, and headed back to the boat.

Once again, we enjoyed a pleasant evening of food and wine on the back deck.

Our new crew on the back deck


Distance:          16 km
BBs:                  9
Fixed Bridges:    2
Locks:               0
Time:                 2h 45 mins

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