Well….to start out I have to say that it has been an extremely HOT HUMID day here in Holland. I don’t ever remember sweating so much in my whole life!!
We went in to Den Bosch today with Ray’s cousins and a couple of the kids to do three things. Hit the town square market and look around take a tour on the canal and to do a tower tour in the big cathedral.
Our first stop at the market was very exciting. Many cheese shops, hats, purses, linens, fruits vegetables flowers and of course the “stroopwafel” vendor. Too many to see and a lot of people. Like I said at the beginning….it was very hot and humid. We wanted some shade. We made our way through the very quaint winding cobble stone streets to the canal to purchase out ticket for the tours. it’s really amazing to see all the beautiful old architecture and little shops. You just want to stay and explore all of them. So cool….love it!!
When it was time to get on the boat it was a nice change from the sun and the heat to enter the canals. The tour was about 45 minutes long as we wound our way through the town on the water. Many tunnels were low and very narrow. Only wide enough to fit the boat. No arms out of the boat!! Our tour guide (Captain) was an old Dutch man that only spoke Dutch. Thank goodness we had a few of Ray’s family with us to help translate otherwise I may have lost an arm. 🙂 It was a great journey into the past with many interesting things to see.
Before our next tour we stopped for a coffee and a treat at the cafe De Stip for a “Chocolade Bol.” It is a special dessert that has made Den Bosch famous. Think of a giant chocolate eclair filled with lots of fresh whipping cream and covered in dark chocolate. OMG….so delicious!! Yes….I only had one… 🙂 After our snack we walked about 10 minutes to the Beklimming Sint Janstoren Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint John) for our tour of the bell tower and church. It was built in 1220 and completed in 1530. We started by climbing up a very narrow and very steep stair case up about 2 flights. Feels more like 6 flights because the stairs are so close together and steep. We ended up seeing how the church was built and seeing the inner workings of the clock and many bells of all sizes. The clock was extremely large and very loud. by the end of the tour we were approx. 200 feet up and overlooking the city and the surrounding Holland. Next we went into the church. Walking over the stone floor where many of the remains of the church priests were buried was very surreal. All of them done with inscriptions and carvings in the stone. It was a very beautiful church and very big. Stained glass window 3 stories high with many wood carvings and painting all over the walls. Breath taking! We were also able to see an exhibit that was at that church only for a few weeks which was the Shroud of Turin (The shroud of Jesus). They had a full size reproduction of the shroud there; as the real on is not allowed to leave Turin. they also had a 3D model there as well. We had a lady speak to us in English and she went through everything from how it came to be to where it went missing for hundreds of years. It was a very interesting and humbling thing to see for me and I’m not Catholic.
When we got back to Hedel we all met for dinner at the Herberg de Zwaan restaurant for a great meal and drinks. Ray and I tried the mustard soup for our appetizer. Delicious!! Who would have thought that you could make such a yummy soup from mustard?? Dinner with his cousins was so much fun. Great laughs, great people and great food! What else could we ask for…. 🙂
We have had a great couple of days here in Hedel with such warm and friendly people. It was sad to say goodbye to a few of them that we won’t see again this trip. Thank you for your kind and warm welcome. <3