We had planned to stay one night in Gouda, but we got caught up in the pleasantness of the city. Through the narrow street and around the back of the St. Jan's Church was the public library, an historical monument in its own right. The Library offers free WiFi and had a reading room across the ancient courtyard to sit in. The courtyard itself is pleasantly quiet, under tall trees and hidden from the street. It has small tables and chairs and there are colourful pillows on wooden couches.
I posted my last posting from there and on my way back to the boat, I listened to the church organ play as I passed St. Jan's Church. Around the next corner the traditional street organ was playing as Gouda was waking up to another day.
We left the harbour and passed through the lock and onto tidal water and joined traffic heading to the next lock. The scenery has not changed in centuries with the windmills standing on guard along the dikes.
On the water ducklings were following their mother as if they were attached by a string, all ten of them in tight formation. Further along the waterways was a mare, all dressed up with her colt.
The scenery is tranquil as we passed thatched roofs along the way with their basic reeds shaped to the contour of the roofs. We are in awe with the little nooks filled with flowers, art and cushioned benches.
The Dutch seems to understand friendships, and this is evident along the way. We regularly see two, three or four couples rent a boat, pack a picnic basket and wine and head out to have lunch or dinner aboard. There are others couples on bicycle who pause to watch the boats go by was they have lunch. We watch the childeren cast their fishing lines in the canals and wait for a bite. The simplicity of life.
We arrived at Montfoort, with a free mooring spot under the trees in the edge of town. We bought some fish for dinner and dined outside hearing "Bon Appetite" or "Cheers" from the boaters and cyclists going by.