Recently I heard someone on the radio talking passionately about his holiday in Zeeland. He mentioned that he greatly enjoyed sailing on the Zeeland waters. He loved it so much that he no longer had to go to the Galapagos Islands.
Zeeland is a stone’s throw away from our permanent residence and it is not surprising that we come there regularly. A round of Zeeland is a good weekend medication against stress, boredom and mental states. Just feel the wind blowing through the hair, breath in some fresh sea air and you are a completely different person.
As a boatman’s daughter I got the love for water and everything connected with it was automatically. We traveled to Zeeland regularly. We sailed through the Canal of Zuid-Beveland and across the dangerous and sometimes unpredictable Westerschelde with impressive tidal currents and a lot of other ships to places like Terneuzen and Ghent. From the Volkerak we entered the Scheldt-Rhine Canal to reach the border with Belgium between Noord-Brabant and Zeeland with various goods from and to Antwerp, with copper from Rotterdam to Olen and back with the beautiful white sand of Mol. The Keeten-Mastgat-Zijpe combination was regularly pronounced with us, although I never saw the importance of it as a child. What I still remember are the delicious croquettes that were sold on the ferries between Vlissingen-Breskens and Kruiningen-Perkpolder. Yes, that was another time!
Later, when we settled on land, we as a family regularly took public transportation to the cozy coastal places like the well-off Domburg, the in terms of shipping more bustling Zoutelande and Vlissingen with its nice boulevard. The villages of Walcheren and associated beaches cultivated a wonderful holiday feeling. It happened that we started a beautiful beach walk in Domburg and walked via Westkapelle to Zoutelande. Strolling through the surf barefoot and wringing through the breakwaters every now and then; we did nothing better. From Zoutelande to Vlissingen was an alternative with the beautiful dune parties around Dishoek; we enjoyed it immensely, as well as defying a wave in a swimsuit. We always came home with a healthy color.
A few years ago we bought a new car in Goes and before we parked it in front of our cottage we had already made a large trial round through the beautiful varied Zeeland landscape; you never forget that.
Recently, we regularly drive the province to supplement our potato and fruit supply. Zeeland has many fruit orchards and clay potatoes are always tastier than those of sandy soil.
Another reason we visit Zeeland often is the fact that there are excellent dive sites around the Grevelingen and Oosterschelde. No, the underwater view does not extend as far as in tropical waters, but for this side of Europe it is great. On one occasion there is diving with the dive club Moby Divers where hubby is now a member. Other times we make a fun daytime activity together with the family. A day in and around the salty water is quite beneficial!
During one of the many summery, hot days we drove over the Oesterdam one night. There were more than 50 kite surfers with their colorful windshields showing their skills. It was high water, so we could see everything well. At low tide you will find other enthusiasts, namely those who are crazy about what can be found from seafood, shellfish or crustaceans. A comical sight, people with boots and waders caught with a bucket in their hand strolling over the wet sand and stones.
In high school we once went to a sailing camp at the Veerse Meer. Every now and then we still go there. On beautiful days with a breeze, the Veerse Meer is a spectacle of moving high masts with sails and boats. A beautiful sight from the shore whether or not enjoying a snack and/or a drink on a terrace. The latter can also be excellent in the beautiful town of Veere, where one of the grandfathers from the Dutch television series Oppassen is supposed to come originate.
Goes, with its harbor and many old facades, we visit every now and then for some shopping, lunch or dinner. Not so long ago I have eaten a delicious lunch with a friend and made a nice round through the shopping streets. It’s just like being on holiday, we say afterwards.
Zeeland is something special. Every Zeeland region or island has its own atmosphere, dialect and audience, which makes Zeeland very diverse. Now take Tholen. It is a Zeeland island of protestant character, but you can only come across the bridges that are linked to the originally Catholic Brabant. Zeeland Flanders, now accessible from the rest of Zeeland via the Westerschelde Tunnel, is stuck to Belgium and is influenced by it. On the other hand, in Renesse and the surrounding area you will find many people from Rotterdam and other Randstad residents who spend their free time there. The coastal and dune areas attract many Germans. If you come to a store or eatery you will be greeted in German … Sure, Zeeland is certainly not boring.
In this province you will find impressive dams and other structures that not only protect the Zeeland population but also other parts of the Netherlands against the devastating water. Much has changed since the 1953 disaster. To learn more about this, there is the Watersnoodmuseum in Ouwerkerk and Neeltje Jans, a working island of the Oosterscheldekering.
Zierikzee is city we find that can not be skipped when visiting Zeeland. It is situated on the north side of the more than 5 km long Zeeland Bridge (for some time the longest bridge in Europe) connecting Noord-Beveland with Schouwen-Duiveland. If you take a walk through this town, you hardly have to go to Amsterdam anymore. You will find beautiful old buildings and authentic shops, many restaurants and recently we heard that acquaintances are thinking about taking over a Bed & Breakfast.
Middelburg, the capital of the province that is almost against Vlissingen, is also interesting for visitors. Beautiful facades and impressive buildings often located on pleasant shopping streets and squares are worth a quiet walk.
Near Vlissingen is Fort Rammenkes, the oldest surviving seafort in Europe. Not so long ago we arrived there more or less by chance when we were searching for Geocaches. We walked a beautiful route through the forest area and along the Westerschelde estuary. We found it a surprisingly beautiful area just west of the Sloehaven.
We can say a lot more about Zeeland. For example, you still have the Zeeland girl, the costume, the mussels from Yerseke, not to mention the real Zeeland boluses. The steam train, but also the nuclear power plant of Borsele, the wooded area around the cozy Burg-Haamstede and the beaches of Cadzand or the tourist towns Sluis and Hulst with its forte-like appearance and so on.
We can still recollect a lot more memories, but let’s make some new ones. Experience it yourself, just go there and enjoy yourself!