Sunday, April 24, 2011

Let It Snow!

Janneke in her 'fiery' coat while I was the 'cool' lady in a subdued cream coat.  We met a couple of townfolk walking their dogs. I asked a passer -by to snap our happy moments, out in the cold, warm in each other's company:) 

Shiver me  -  playful moments in Janneke's  Zen garden  before  we headed for  a a jaunt to town. We threw snowballs at each other! 

Snowed over! That's how I remember my holiday in the Netherlands. But don't get me wrong. The white landscape did nothing to spoil a hugely warm, bonding time with my Dutch friend, Janneke. Sure, it was a real wintry December through to January and the months ahead.The unusually cold, heavy snowfall with record low temperatures swept Europe. In fact,  it followed our family to Portugal and  the UK. Trotter, my blogging pal in Lisbon  was disappointed, even the sunshine tagged to my name didn't help at all!

However the snow and cold did not put dampers on us. Janneke was keen to show me the beauty of Gouda, though shrouded in snow. Warmly attired  we walked  hand in hand to negotiate  paths. On the way to the city centre, we turned on  each other and started a snow ball fight. I tried hopelessly  to knock Janneke down like a ninepin.  Ouch! the snowballs she made seemed bigger  and more solid.. It was hard work - making balls and tumbling in the snow. It just got us rosy in the cheeks and very energised for the rest of the day.

We toyed with the idea of cycling. That sounded really inviting for how can one not join  the Dutch in  pedalling about - their leg power  is so iconic, so eco-friendly too. Alas, the thought of me slipping and sliding and swerving  in the snow was too risky. So Janneke's bicycles in her garage were left  standing.

Hey, good looking and more ! When Janneke sings, she makes your spirits soar

By the side of St John's Church, the main church in Gouda, famous for its stained glass  and the longest in the Netherlands. The church is consecrated to John the Baptist. 

All good things, the enjoyment of having visited  Leiden, Dan Haag, Delft, Amsterdam, and being  Janneke and her dear husband, Eduard's guest in their lovely home in Gouda,  had to end . It was time to fly back to Kuala Lumpur. Well, perhaps Gouda in springtime, another time. Yes,when the tulips will steal my heart away.

I'm singing in the snow...  No crowds - how nice  to have the  roads to ourselves.

Nobody's about. All very quiet . Where are the robins with the redbreasts? 

Who treads there so softly?

Such fun just watching  the young and old  skating in the rink  in the market square. It was certainly family time out too. How I wish I could skate.

Cheese Maiden - kaasmeisje in Dutch. In Gouda, one can never tire of saying 'CHEESE!'  Alamak! I don't think I said it  'cheesy' enough!!

Gouda City Hall, the unmistakeable 15th  century  city hall, one of the oldest in the Netherlands in the Market  Square. The peals of laughter and voices rang through the icy air. 

A shop was open and peeping in, I was fascinated by the clay works. This artisan obligingly allowed us in . In his small space,  we were careful not to topple nor break anything.

No cows in sight but certainly lots and lots of cheeses. I bought GOUDA to take home .

Just the right dish  for a cold winter - we enjoyed a lovely fondue in the evening at a restaurant

My view from inside the living room of my  gracious hosts, Janneke and Eduard. The sun was out  a bit and before long ,we were ready to hit the town.


  1. Wow. It does look awfully cold. But still fun and joy and sunshine came through.

  2. Oh oh
    lovely shots :-)
    Yes we had much snow
    but now its a hot spring
    YESTERDAY 28C !!!!
    I hope you had a wonderful time in The Netherlands.

    Happy Week-end or Happy Easter to all from
    Kareltje =^.^= Betsie >^.^<
    Anya :)



  3. Nice to see you really enjoy the snow. Its too cold. Hope you have a great vacation.

  4. You looked like you have lots of fun. Enjoy and Happy Sunday

  5. Hi Keats
    First,I thought you were in the US when I saw the snow.
    Wish you all the blessings of Easter. Are you planning to go around Europe. My daughter is there in Frankfurt,she is a dentist and lives there with her husband.If you are visiting Germany,let me know.She could show you around.

  6. Wow! That's a lot of fun in the snow! Happy Easter, Keats!

  7. Looks like you have great fun playing snowballs. Did you make snow angels too?

  8. I love the Netherlands, it's a small but great country. Love the people, the way of life, the multicultural food... well pretty much everything about it!
    And a very happy Easter to you too!

  9. Wow. It does look awfully cold.
    Have a wonderful days!

  10. Wonderful trip. And, oh, the cheese!! Yum. And, sweet friends together.

  11. How fun!! Glad you enjoyed the snow. Brrrrrr!!

  12. What an amazing trip, Keats! I love the pics of the cheese fondue, of the skating rink, of the storybook houses and of you and Janneke! I remember Janneke! Please say Hello to her for me!

  13. Such a delightful visit you must have shared, even with the chilly snow.
    There is beauty in all the wintry landscape!

  14. So much snow! I was wrong about you being Irish, but that's just fine! You must have had a delightful time. Love the photos.

  15. What great memories these shots are!
    If you want to experience real winter and a lot of snow you should come to Finland! I know how to skate and ski, I can teach you! That would be fun! :)

  16. I've always wanted to visit the Netherlands. Judging by these pictures, I'm never going in December/January.:-)
    Great post. Sounds like you enjoyed your hols.

  17. Great photos. But why not spring in Holland?

  18. Nice Pictures! I especially like the St John's Church photo :-)

  19. So cold laaaaa....
    But sure looks fun though!

  20. Very nice set of photos Keats. I think I need a butt warmer when I am there. I love the cool weather but somehow, coldness freezes my brain out :( happy weekend Keats..I am sure you are watching the Royal wedding today..I am, in fact, even took half day off :)

  21. Hi Keats! Finally some time to stop by... You're looking great in the snow; but it's completely out of time now... We want summer!!! lol!!

    Blogtrotter Two is still strolling in Amsterdam... Enjoy and have a superb weekend!!

  22. Looks like you had a great trip! so glad you enjoyed.


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