Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gouderak and Schoonhoven - A Trip Through the Countryside

A day spent in the countryside is a welcome change from all the city travel we have been doing.  This is the ferry that will take us across the river to the little dorp of Gouderak.  There is a Delft pottery factory there that we are going to visit to pick up some commemorative plates that the missionaries going home in March have ordered.

The ferry operator backed up against the pier and Elder Anderson backed his car onto the ramp.  When we got to the other side he drove off frontwards into the town of Gouderak. 

When we had picked up the missionaries' delft plates we went on a little drive.  We had to stop every hundred yards to take pictures of all the charming homes and farm properties.

Some of these homes are quite new, but they still keep the Dutch architecture from hundreds of years ago.

We saw beautiful swans almost everywhere we looked.   A few years ago they were in danger of becoming extinct so the government put a 'protected' status on them.   Now it is unlawful to hunt or harm them, so they have flourished in the wetlands.  If they are crossing the street, you wait for them to get to the other side before going on.

We have seen many thatched roofed homes, but this was our first thatched roofed garage.  The roof actually moves up and down on the vertical poles.  Consequently, different sized vehicles can be kept underneath.

Okay, what kind of bird would need a bird house this BIG? 

Beach front property?  Not much yard here.  It is easier to get around by boat than on land.

Another gorgeous home.  I liked the pretty sculptured schrubs and of course, the thatched roof.

And yes, there are churches in every little village.

These are just a few that we saw on our drive.

In the town of Schoonhoven we stopped to visit the Antique Clock and Silver Museum.  This small town is the only area in Holland where silversmiths plied their trade.  They developed quite a beautiful style.  Of course the silver was all imported because Holland doesn't have any precious metal or mineral deposits here - just water.  LOTS of water.

Netherlands Gold, Silver, and Clock Museum

Such a lot of fun cuckoo clocks.  A lot of them were working and the chimes were going off at different times while we were there.

The grandfather clock on the right had a man standing with a fishing pole dipping down into the water.  Each time the fishing pole came up again a minute had elapsed on the clock.  What a clever design!

One of the many antique silver items on display.  I tried to get a picture of the queen's coach and six horses pulling it.  It was beautifully crafted, but the reflection from the glass made it impossible to get a clear picture.
This church in the center of town had such a HUGE steeple that it looked like it wouldl crush the building beneath.

Hey, it's sunny!  Wow, what a pleasure to have to squint into the sun!  We've only seen it about 3 times since we got here.

The river is a little misty because the sun only peaks out occasionally.  We could see another ferry making its way back across the river.

The Dutch are so-o-o clean.  Everywhere we've been the properties are always tidy and well-cared for.  They take great pride in keeping their homes and farms in beautiful condition.

Picturesque, Yes?  Not just the house, but the garden in front as well.  So pretty!

And I can't resist the windmills.  Of the 10,000 that were once in this country, there are only 950 left.  I'm going to try to find them ALL. 

A different style, and charming in its own right.

Did they build the windmill on the house or the house around the windmill??  We should have stopped and asked.


  1. So many cool things. What a fun trip. I hope you snatched up one of those cuckoo clocks for your birthday or dad did for you.

    The homes and yards are amazing! I'm all about curb appeal and they definitely have it. We're lucky to have neighbors who take care of their homes and yards, but I'm amazed at how many in Logan don't.

    You're really making me want to come over there to see all of this for myself.

  2. I'm with Cherie, I'm dying to get over there, camera right in hand!

    Maybe they built that giant bird house for the swans... :)