Today the heat wave broke, with temperatures more than 10 degrees cooler than previous days (in the high 20’s). It was overcast the whole day, but not a normal overcast – the air was hazy, like a smog in China. The sun never truly broke through the cloud.
We only did 50 km today, ending up at St Michielsgestel. We first took a fairly direct route to ‘s-Hertogenbosch,
We saw a “fietsstraat” for the first time along the way. This is a bike street where bicycles have right of way over cars. The sign notes that “cars are guests” in the street. The street is in an suburban neighborhood and part of the main bike route passing through the area.
‘s-Hertogenbosch has a very beautiful historic center, with old houses built over canals and picturesque pedestrian only streets. It was also very busy, probably due to being a Saturday.
We bought some melons at the market (2 for E1.50) and ate them in the Jeroen-Boshtuin garden – an oasis of peace in the busy town. It has some little “intruders” hung in the trees for the children to find. There were a couple of families with young children playing on the playground – including a father who had brought two little girls in a “Bakfiets”.
We had some coffee and a light meal (soup/omlette) at a cafe before setting off again to Sint Michielsgestel.
The final bit of our ride was scenic – along a canal and then through country areas, crossing further small canals.
I continue to marvel at the way the gardens are designed and maintained – with many box hedges and trees cut into round or square shapes. One small garden just had box hedges cut in maze like shapes in front of the house. Another popular design is to have the box hedges in a square, with some flowers, such as lavender or roses, planted in the middle.
We were in the lap of luxury in the evening, in a spa hotel and conference center on a big estate next to a river. We have a large air conditioned room with a view out of the lawn and the river beyond.