Since there are so many places in Brabant that we haven’t yet explored, we decided to check out some of the cool places around where we live. Of course, it was mandatory to visit some windmills as well as the nearby village of Neunen where Vincent van Gogh lived during the time when he produced the some of his most well-known paintings.
Let the Long Ride Begins
From our home, we headed straight out to the countryside where many of the local farms are located. We even said hello to the cows that we passed on our evening out on our bikes. As usual, they were very cute. This time in additions to the cows, we came across a pick-your-own blueberry farm. Many of the blueberries on the bush were ripe, and they looked very delicious. We would have to go back to the farm on another weekend and try those yummy blueberries.
van Gogh and His Painting
After seeing some of the delicious sights of the blueberries, we cycled on and arrived at a watermill at Opwetten. This is an interesting watermill in that there are two water turbines in the middle. On one side it used to be a corn-mill and another side was a sawmill. Now the buildings are turned into a posh restaurant. These builds were made famous because of Vincent van Gogh painting made in 1884. Surprisingly, the buildings still look exactly the same as those in the painting!
After a couple of hours of cycling and exploring some of the local villages, we stopped by a local cafe by the side of the cycling path. We couldn’t resist having a short coffee break there. In fact, we ended up having a glass of hot chocolate each given how nice they looked. Right behind the cafe, there was also a lovely garden full of blooming flowers and interesting plants, so we decided to take a stroll after our drinks.
Horses and Four Wheels
As we cycled further into the woods, we started to come across some smartly-dressed people with their horse-drawn carriages. There were many of them and we thought that is an unusual sight. We then came across people racing horse-drawn carriages in a school, so we decided to stop and watch some of the actions. It was a shame that we didn’t manage to see Cinderella in her pumpkin carriage thought. XD
Roaming Over the Heathland
After seeing a slither of actions at the horse-drawn carriage competition, we headed onto Strabrechtse Heidi (the name of the local heathland) which was not too far away from the horse school. It was the first time since we arrived in the Netherland to have cycled across of large heathland. It certainly felt exhilarating to see the vast expanse of land. At the middle of the heathland, we couldn’t even see any other buildings or animals.
Having enjoyed many of the unexpected sights. We headed back to the village of Neunen to see more van Gogh stuff before heading back home.
- The route we cycled was 70 km. It took us about 7-8 hours at a leisurely pace and we managed to stop quite a few time and see different things along the route. (See map for more details)
- In the Netherlands, junctions along bike routes are signposted with a designated number known as the Knooppunt. There are also signposts to the next knooppunt. You can plan your route on www.route.nl and follow those signs on the bike.
- Eindhoven is accessible by train. Direct train from Amsterdam takes about 1.5 hours. You can take a bike onto the train by paying an additional supplement of €6.10 per day and you can use this as many time as you wish on the day of purchase.
- If you wish to rent a bike to explore the local area once you get to Eindhoven and Nuenen, which is not too far away, you can rent an OV-fiets on the south side of Eindhoven train station.
Have you come across some interesting thing when you last had a day out? What were they? Comment below and we would love to hear from you.