NETHERLANDS AND BELGIUM 2006: Trip
was about 6km south of Breda. It
was the wing of a house set in a storybook garden,
with duck pond, ducks, hens and so on. Beautifully
furnished and presented, cool and comfortable. It was
The owners were a semi-retired couple, warm and friendly.
They both came with our breakfast, each with a separate
tray, at the appointed time of 8.30. It was the standard
dutch breakfast of boiled egg. cheese, meat, bread
and jam, but prepared to perfection.
had been hard and varied with many different beds, and
indifferent sleeps. In fact a few days previously we
had rescheduled our trip to miss out the planned two
night stay in Mechelen in Belgium and
extend our stay in Breda and the next destination Brugge
because we realized we had over-reached ourselves.
This was the perfect place to have a rest day,
stay home and catch up, remarkably it was also the first
day it rained. Breakfast was just as good, similar to
the previous day but with enough variation to add interest.
It seemed a pity to
miss Antwerp but it was too far to
cycle so we went by train. We spent some time walking
around the Onze Lieve Vrouwkathedrqall. It is very impressive,
particularly the large panels by Rubens,
although rope barriers prevent you getting close enough
to study them in detail. We wanted to try the Le Petit
Zinc, a small cheap restaurant that nevertheless has
one Michelin star. Unfortunately it was closed on Sundays
so we went to De Kleine Zavel, also recommended in the
Lonely Planet and had an acceptable, but not outstanding,