By Ben |

See our photos from Leiden and Nuenen.

Sunday, Sept 25

When I checked my email in the morning, I learned that our AirBnB host in Paris had been robbed! She canceled our booking, and I used the refund to book another room, but I did not thoroughly read the reviews. Cue ominous music.

Jessie and I returned our bikes to the rental place and checked out the Museum of the Canals. It turned out to be mostly social history, not technical. We had boxed salads on the train station platform while waiting for our train to Leiden ... even the cheapest convenience-store food we had in the Netherlands was excellent.

Suzanne, an art therapist in Leiden, met us at the train station and walked with us to the botanical garden, where she and Jessie continued to talk while I explored the garden. It's not the oldest such garden in the Netherlands -- the one in Amsterdam is over 370 years old -- but it's still very historic.

Back at the Leiden train station, I bought us tickets to Eindhoven via Den Haag and Rotterdam, and I learned belatedly from the ticket agent that I should have just bought tickets to Eindhoven in the first place, back in Amsterdam, because they don't care where else you go en route so long as you pay for the farthest point. Lesson learned, at a cost of an extra 40€.

In Eindhoven we boarded a bus for Nuenen, intending to get off in the center of town, but we missed our stop and rode nearly to the next town. This meant that we walked back all the way through Nuenen as well as to the Van Gogh fietspad in Eindhoven, a total of probably 7 miles.

In Nuenen we saw Van Gogh's childhood home and his father's church, among other sights, in spite of the setting sun. We meant to stop for dinner but didn't quite get to it, so we ate a pastry from a vending machine (which was excellent) and some gas station sandwiches (also excellent).

The fietspad (bike path) turns out to be covered in glow-in-the-dark spots that in some places are illuminated by solar-charged blacklights. Suzanne had been surprised to hear we were going all the way out there just to see the fietspad lit up, but we ran into a number of other foreign tourists doing the same thing!

We caught a city bus to the train station and a 10pm train back to Amsterdam.