We had a tour of the Kaas Waag, or cheese weigh house in Gouda, built in the the mid 1600's. The open beams inside are from the original, and the original stone relief is mounted inside too. Our guide took us through the making of cheese and he gave us a real appreciation for what makes Gouda cheese have that salty flavour: it's the salt water from the North Sea filtered through the Ijssel, which makes the grass salty, which in turn makes the cow's milk salty in the farming region between Gouda and Utrecht. The farmers actually still bring their cheese wheels into this market square (or heart) every Thursday morning. Sadly, we came into town too late on Thursday to see them. You know how they say "everyone in Holland speaks English"? Once again, not true here. Our tour guide spoke no English and so I was nominated to be the translator.