Reeuwijk - Gouda

After a two-week break from hiking the Pilgrims Path, we took a shorter walk through the Dutch landscape. We started late this Sunday because the first bus from Gouda to Reeuwijk arrived around noon. 

We walked on a typical Dutch winter day, with clouds, gray skies, and temperatures around freezing point! A layer of ice covered the lakes and canals, not thick and robust enough to allow an old-fashioned Dutch winter scenery with skaters gliding over frozen canals. It didn’t keep a swimmer from diving into the cold Reeuwijk Lakes!

The Reeuwijk Lakes are not natural but artificial water bodies created during the 18th and 19th centuries by excavating the peat top layer. Gouda’s houses and industries used dried peat as fuel; the industries grew, and so did the demand for peat. Due to the ever-deeper excavation beneath the groundwater level, the lakes were created. The Reeuwijk Lakes almost disappeared from the Dutch landscape because they were considered a threat to the surrounding polders. However, on 20 July 1930, the Provincial Council of South Holland canceled the land reclamation plans and designated them for recreational use.

Despite this dark day before Christmas, we enjoyed this historic Dutch landscape with its animals. Swans, herons, and many other birds thrive in this artificial landscape. The little pony guy or girl was curious to see us coming closer and allowed me to take a cute picture. It did not step aside but let us pass without any problems.

We arrived at Gouda’s train station four hours after we started. Another leg of the Pilgrims Path, 18 km leading through the Reeuwijk Lakes, showed my little country at its best again.


Sunday, December 6, 2020


11.40 miles
18.35 km

Moving Time



covered sky, crisp