Wow, do I like Den Bosch! The people who live here live in a great little city. In my first few hours here, some things that rubbed me right...
The name. City is really named s'-Hertegenbosch. But apparently that is a tongue twister even for the Dutch, so everyone calls it Den Bosch. Even the people at the train station. It's Den Bosch. I like that.
The train station. You walk out, and the station square makes sense. You know where you are. That is really nice. Confusing train stations and confusing urban areas outside them are for the birds.
My hosts. Good people. Cyclists, who are leaving this weekend for a sunny holiday cycling in Mallorca. Traded stories -- they had a great tour in USA recently, and have a friend who is publishing a book this month about his coast-to-coast cycling odyssey across America. They were intrigued with my bike, and amazed at how light I packed (to me, it's heavy and I'm looking for things that can be eliminated). Plus, my apartment has a bathtub. Don't ever underestimate exactly how nice a hot bath can be after three weeks on the road!
A great dinner. Pizza at Stefano's. Local place, not fancy, families with kids playing cards at the tables. Good place to have a meal in comfortable surroundings. I think this is what the Dutch call gezellig: "... belonging, time spent with
loved ones, the fact of seeing a friend after a long absence, or general
togetherness that gives a warm feeling."
Relaxed evening strolling through medieval streets and huge civic plaza, enough people to feel alive without any sense of crowding.
A terrific art supply store right down the street.
Only wish Katie were here, I think she would like Den Bosch a lot.