Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goedemorgen from Den Bosch, Netherlands

As you may know, any post of mine that begins with something along the lines of “I recently had an opportunity…” indicates that it was a work-related trip (see the different posts on Germany and France). Well, “I recently had an opportunity” to go to the Netherlands for another work trip, but spent most of my time in a small town in the middle of the country that I shouldn’t identify. I have been to Amsterdam in the past, so I didn’t miss the fact that I was skipping this great city. The week was fairly whirlwind with very little downtime whatsoever, but my colleague and I were able to make it out one evening to s’Hertegonbosch, more commonly known as Den Bosch.

The city reminded me of Brugge, but with fewer tourists to distract you from the beauty of the natural surroundings and architecture. The end of July and August is a popular time for the Dutch to take holiday, so the city was filled with Dutch on holiday, but it didn’t have a touristy feel to it. Den Bosch is on the tourist circuit for the Netherlands, but I don’t think most visitors make the one hour train journey down from Amsterdam.

The restaurants and cafes are superb and spill into the streets and onto the main square in front of the town hall. Based on my observations and my own meal, this is one of those towns where the risk of a disappointing meal seems low.

If you are in Amsterdam for a few days and are looking for something a little different, it is well worth the one hour train ride to S’Hertogenbosch. The trip was very purposeful and getting out of Amsterdam allows you to see typical Dutch life in small town settings; flat agricultural landscapes scattered with sheep and cows, windmills, and lots of people cruising upright, back straight on bicycles through the streets.


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