Gouda, ZH, Netherlands


  • Full Member
  • Member since Mar 23, 2018
  • 77 trips
  • 658,789 kms travelled
  • 49 countries visited
  • 890 photos
  • 77 forum entries
  • 24 guide edits
  • 49 blog entries

About @westwind57

67 years old • Male

Originally from the travbuddy website. I travel for work, business and privately, and I love that mix. I usually don't mind where the journey goes to. I think about everywhere, there is something new or unusual to be found, or an interesting tradition, or some funny experience.

I also love hearing and reading about other people's travel stories, or from their home land, no matter if they talk about far destinations or the next door city. I usually have enough imagination to picture it.

I may not always prepare every detail, and let myself be surprised. But for me, travelling starts already at the moment that I start thinking of it!

  • Hobbies:

    Traveling of course, nature, photography, history, food, wine, differences in culture between countries/regions (also dealing with different business culture), languages, snorkeling, listening progressive rock from the 1970's, but also enjoying local ethnic music styles and sometimes even classic music. Reading old travel stories with the atlas next to me. Writing (about travel and other experiences) is another thing I like to do... if time allows.

    Recently hiking, cycling and swimming have made their way up this ranking (with beneficial results for my weight and overall well-being…)

  • Favourite places:

    Countries which I visit regularly and I always like include: underrated Germany, overrated France (I prefer the countryside. Love/hate relationship with Paris and I hate CdG airport and the smell in the Métro), Belgium (Our good spirited gourmand neighbours), Italy, China and Hong Kong, U.S. and Canada. Spain and the Balkan incl. Bulgaria and Romania for road trips.

    Countries that have amazed and surprised me include Indonesia, Malaysia, Cameroon, Thailand, Australia, Slovenia, Iceland. And many others.

    Only a few countries fail to excite or attract me. No need to mention them here. And I would be happy to be surprised and change my opinion if the opportunity arises.

    Latin America still mostly unknown to me (except Mexico). Iran plus the countries in Central Asia are high on my interest list to visit when I have a chance. Think of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kazakhstan, and two new ones on my list: Kamchatka and Tyva in Russia. Oh, and Raja Ampat in Indonesia as the ultimate diving/snorkling destination. Georgia too, for the nature, food, wine and people.

    I should not forget to mention the Green Heart and old towns of my own country, and the Dutch Mountains (yeah, they exist... sort of).

Home is a blue/green globe in space, about 4,000 miles in diameter



01 Jan 2018 - 02 Jan 2018 • 18,887 kms

Netherlands China

Netherlands beyond the typical tourist places

10 Dec 2011 - 09 Nov 2014 • 162 kms


Quedlinburg, Harz mountains, Germany

17 Oct 2013 - 20 Oct 2013 • 140 kms


Latest Blog Entries

Travel Blogs westwind57 runs

  • China, Hong Kong and SE Asia trips - All my trips to China and S.E. Asia compiled in one blog
  • Europe trips - A compilation of blogs about our European trips
  • Netherlands - exploring my own country - This will be an ever expanding blog on being tourist, visitor, explorer in my own country, The Netherlands
  • North America trips - A sampling of our trips in the US and Canad
  • The secret of Cour-Chéverny - In the Loire Area, just a few kilometres south of Blois, you will find one of the smallest wine areas in France. The AOC wines from Cour-Chéverny must be made for the full 100% from an ancient varietal, called Romorantin, which had almost disappeared due to the higher yield that could be achieved with "newer" types of grapes. But after Cour-Chéverny received its own Appélation, the future of this old grape has been secured.
  • Writer's Block Blog - It's been now almost two weeks that I re-registered on this web-site. Full of ambition of course to produce my bit of writing. And now, nothing much seems to get written. This is about my diagnosis and my plan.
  • Finally summer.. Kayaking on the Vlist - We had to wait long for summer to arrive in our part of Europe. But this sunday was sunny, and we spent it kayaking on the scenic little Vlist river, in the heart of Holland
  • Netherlands beyond the typical tourist places - While I love traveling abroad, I am sometimes surprised by places close by. In this blog I would like to share some places that visitors from abroad may not be so familiar with. It is a collection of short day trips, and I will keep adding something new every now and then. For those of you who love birds, I have a separate blog for you on this site. This one is more general.
  • Winter Spectacle in Netherlands - Winter has come... finally. Now the big waiting starts... Will it happen this year? Will this be one of the very exceptional years of the Eleven City Race? Stay tuned....
  • China, invited for dinner - If you are lucky enough to be invited by local people for dinner, be it on a business or personal visit, there is an almost 100% chance that this is going to be an interesting experience. Also, there is a chance that you will be put to the test. Will you eat their food and like it? Can you hold your liquor? Here a short report on some experiences, and one advice to close off with...
  • Quedlinburg, Harz mountains, Germany - A short autumn break in a historic city that I never heard of before. Quedlinburg, in what used to be East Germany, is a pearl at the edge of the Harz mountains. With very good reason its historic centre is one of Germany's UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Hot air ballooning over Holland - Finally did it! Since I was a kid I had been looking at flying hot air balloons with the wish to do t some day. And it finally happened this sunday evening!
  • Pemuteran, the quiet Northwest of Bali - Most of Bali's tourism is concentrated in the southeastern half of the island. The northwest end of the island is not only the opposite geographically, but also it is very quiet and still original. It is here where you find one of the best spots for diving and snorkling, as well as a great National park.
  • Island for cycling or a hike - In the delta area of three rivers into the North Sea, there is an island that once was inhabited and now has been given back to nature. It makes a nice and relaxing daytrip in the Netherlands, for those who want a day away from the big cities, our history and our famous coffeeshops :) In this blog some information and some pictures.
  • Gossip&Giggles in the middle of nowhere - The typical French is not a grumpy waiter in Paris. Spend time in the countryside and you will meet another France. With friendly people, who see Parisians as foreigners, just like you!
  • Cold winter, solid food - This is not to deny global warming or anything. And this is not to promote a heavier intake of calories either. But cold winters like we have right now, require some solid food.
  • Lost in our own hotel... - We all need the guest directory of the hotel sometimes to find out about their services. And it is so amazing to see that hotels even in remote areas have an English version. If that will help you, that is still another question...
  • Wine Expeditions in France, Italy, Spain and Other Places - A blog about several trips in search for wines with a story. Chinese and Hong Kong customers of my friend had requested to find "wines with a story". This request gave reason for some interesting "expeditions" in a number of European countries.
  • Israel trip with mixed feelings - End of May and early June 2008 we made a trip through Israel. It became a trip with mixed feelings.
  • South Taiwan break: Cat's broken nose - The south tip of Taiwan is well known for its natural beauty, beaches and water sports. In summer the climate is subtropical, but in spring it can be cool. Still, there is enough to enjoy for a short break.
  • Kunming & Lijiang, Yunnan, China - Staying in Hong Kong for business, we had decided to take a few extra days to visit Yunnan province. We flew to Kunming first, and would find out from there how to go about it. How sitting next to the right person on a plane made this a memorable trip...
  • Surabaya and Taman Safari (Malang) - During a trip to Hong Kong I included a short side-step to Surabaya, Indonesia, to visit my daughter who studied there for 6 months. This blog will give you some impressions about the city and an outing we made to Taman Safari Indonesia II in Prigen, close to Malang.
  • Cameroon, Kribi, November 2011 - Here you will find some pictures of trip to Cameroon in November 2011. A short trip, which even got shorter because of all the fog related delays in Amsterdam. This blog will be expanded with text as soon as I have some more time!
  • Crystal Winter - My writer's block of yesterday seems over. Now is the time to share with you some pictures of this wonderful winter day in the Netherlands. And to explain a little bit about the place where I live.
  • Xiamen, Chengdu and Hong Kong - A short trip, business mostly but with enough time for enjoying the cities: Xiamen, Chengdu and Hong Kong
  • KL Bird Park - Kuala Lumpur - KL Bird Park is located in Lake Gardens, close to the city center and KL Sentral. In several sections which are so large that the birds seem like being in the open, a variety of domestic and foreign birds can be seen. Worth a day trip or at least a few hours, and nice photo opportunities.
  • Roadtrip in Romania - In August 2010 we did a short road trip in Romania in search of unknown types of wine. This blog gives you a summary and some pictures of our experiences in this underrated European country.
  • The Dutch Mountains and 3-lingual Belgium - Most of our country is plain flat... But on the hottest day of 2012, we felt we needed to seek refuge from the scorching heat... in the Dutch Mountains. But there was no escape...
  • Jiuzhaigou (China), Malaysia, Singapore Autumn 2012 - A busy schedule, and unlogical route and some fantastic places. But it were the people that made the trip extra nice...
  • Getting lost in “the system” and other unique encounters - Bits and pieces about bureaucracy around the world, unusual encounters with authorities and people in general on my trips. It may take some time to upload pictures if I have any, because I may have to scan old hardcopies.
  • Bonaire... - Bonaire is a paradise for divers and snorklers, just off the coast of Venezuela. Despite it's location, it is a municipality of the Netherlands. Clean, safe, friendly and because of its flamingoes (or a former governor), pink is the favorite color here...
  • Floriade 2012, Venlo, Netherlands - Once every 10 years, one of the largest horticultural event on this globe is organized in the Netherlands. This year (2012) the evet will be located in Venlo, just at the German border in the province of Limburg, from April 5th until October 7th. A must-visit for professionals as well as for anyone interested in flowers, trees, landscaping and plants.
  • Netherlands: busy bees and birds - Although densely populated, the Netherlands is also home for a lot of different bird species, as well as a pitstop for migrating birds. Here are some pictures that I took in the last two years or so.

Travel Help

South Holland

Born and raised in this province, and still living there. Will be happy to answer your questions and help you with ideas and suggestions. Just drop a message and I will reply as soon as I see it :)

Ask westwind57 a question about South Holland.


Living close to Gouda, and familiar with the interesting sites in town and in the "Green Heart" of Netherlands. Let me know if you need information or ideas.

Ask westwind57 a question about Gouda.

Wiki Travel Guide

  • Gouda article edited

    Editing section: Sights and Activities

  • Gouda article edited

    Editing section: Sights and Activities

  • Gouda article edited

    Editing section: Neighbourhoods

  • Gouda article edited

    Editing section: Sights and Activities

  • Gouda article edited

    Editing section: Neighbourhoods

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