Water, part 3

Water = Perpetual

Much of the history can still be seen. The old lock that brought the transit ships in town existed until 1953. It was the year of the great flood in Holland, with nearly 2000 casualties. Gouda was in serious danger, but could be saved. For security reasons, the lock has been replaced by a dam since then.

There is a modern lock outside the city. It is in no way as important as the old lock was.

The digging of peat had resulted in a number of lakes, the Reeuwijkse Plassen, intersected by small dikes. In 1923 plans were made to turn the water into land. Fortunately protest groups could stop this. Only recently, an opposite plan was carried out: A new lake has been dug out, and the sand has been sold. If Dutch children play on the beach they show the same kind of behavior: turn land into water and turn water into land. By now, the Reeuwijkse Plassen are safe, and used for sailing and surfing in summertime and for skating in wintertime.

Since a few years, the town of Gouda has tried to attract transit ships again, but now manned by tourists of course. Under the name 'Gouda Havenstad' (harbor town) a program is set up for old ships to stay in city waters. History is starting again...

The quality of the water isn't what it used to be. The Hollandse IJssel is the most polluted river in Holland, and nobody knows where to find the millions and millions that are needed to clean it. And, sad to say, the Kuytbier doesn’t exist anymore. Some years ago, at the 700th anniversary of the town, it was produced again after the old recipe. It was a one time event.

Most importantly the canals are still there, with many old houses. The atmosphere is typically Dutch, if only for the large number of cars that are parked alongside the canals.