Nederlands (Dutch)Zeeland 2010

We leave around one o'clock on Friday 14 May. In the morning, after lots of research, Laura finally orders her smartphone. We drive through Rotterdam, and go over the Delta Works from one island to another. It's beautiful. The village of Wissenkerke is on the island Noord-Beveland, which is in the province Zeeland in the south-west of the Netherlands. It is easy to find, and without any problems we find the house we rented there.
     On the website it was written as Noord-Beverland. On top of that, near Goes, there is also a village called Wissekerke (without the n). We joke about our holiday in the land of the beavers ("bever" in Dutch means beaver), in the village Wisserkerke.


A boat, somewhere along the road to Wissenkerke. Click on the photos for enlargement.


Laura behind the wheel.


Spacious fields and lots of sky.

dike with cyclists

And dikes of course.


And windmills.

fishing boat

Fishing boat with gulls.

Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier

Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier. Picture taken from the car.

It's a beautifully old and small village, with a mill and a church with a sharp spire. When we arrive at the house, there's nobody there, but there are post-its saying where the front door for the "Hendricx family" is. A while later the owner gets home and we meet. They've given us an extra large house because people had canceled. It's a house for five persons. That's friendly. The dog is called Bijtie (Dutch for: doeshebite). He doesn't bite. He is a big goof. Unfortunately we don't succeed in connecting our laptop to the wireless internet. Oh well, alright.
     We walk in the surrounding area and we follow the road to the sea that leads via a meadow with llamas and rabbits. Well, sea, actually it's the Eastern Scheldt (Oosterschelde). Lots of water and lots of birds here, and bird watchers too. It's a small scenic area between dikes. Noord-Beveland is between the Oosterschelde and the Veerse meer (Lake of Veere). Nothing much happens here. The largest village, Kamperland, has no more than a few thousand inhabitants. According to the Dutch-language Wikipedia Noord-Beveland is one of the least densely populated areas of the Netherlands.

road to the Oosterschelde

The road to the Oosterschelde, just outside our house.

two llamas

The two llamas, one shorn and one unshorn. By the way, I think they're actually alpacas.

scenic area

Sometimes when a dike broke, the people used to build another dike around the gap further from the coast to protect the weak spot. The land in between these dikes nowadays is a scenic area with lots of birds.

ducks with young

Shelducks with their young.

Laura looking out on the Oosterschelde

Laura looking out on the Oosterschelde.

goose in hiding

A goose hiding behind a dike.

Wissenkerke with mill

View of two sails of the mill of Wissenkerke.

pollard willows

Pollard willows.

That night we have pancakes in the village (one with banana, advocaat and chocolate sauce, and one with tuna and mais), and I drink a Peelander Korenschoof with it, a beer from Kamperland. We have brought a large box with DVDs and a lot of books. We hope to do a lot of nothing. Later that night we watch The Usual Suspects.

Because we don't succeed in configuring the wireless connection on the laptop, we decide to travel to Rotterdam on Saturday to collect Laura's smartphone. We park right in front of the shop but all the hassle with subscription takes a lot of time negotiating and deciding. At the end of the afternoon we drive back. The smartphone seems to be able to find the wireless network, so the problem probably is the laptop. Laura is very happy with her smartphone, a HTC Desire. That night we eat mais-soup and we watch (the second half of The Usual Suspects and) Volver.

car in the Europoort

Our car in the Europoort, on our way back from Rotterdam.

pipeline in the Europoort

Pipeline in the Europoort.

On Sunday we do nothing. Laura is in bed all afternoon and I walk around the village and take pictures. I photograph the church, the cemetery outside the village and both the mills. In the evening we eat pasta with spinach and blue cheese, and we watch Tussenstand and Crazy/Beautiful. It looks like the DVD-player cannot play our DVDs we cut (to remove commercials), so we only watch movies we recorded from channels without commercials.

mill in Wissenkerke

The windmill in Wissenkerke.

mill in Wissenkerke

The windmill in Wissenkerke up close. Its vanes turn almost daily.

below the dike

Below the dike, right outside the village.


The cemetery.


View of the steeple of Wissenkerke.

mill outside the village

The other mill of Wissenkerke, outside the village.

line of trees

A line of trees.

two doves

Two doves in the village.


There's a lot more sky in Zeeland than there is in the Randstad. View from our terrace.

On Monday I sleep almost until twelve o'clock. Laura has woken up before nine and already did our shopping. Today we go to Neeltje Jans, an artificial island in the middle of the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier. We also want to visit the Deltapark Neetje Jans. When we get there, we decide to not go in. Way too expensive, and we don't want to visit all those attractions. So we go and ask for a coin to get off the parking lot. But the man behind the counter suggests we go in for half the price. Hmm, well, okay then. We end up seeing almost every attraction there is to see. There are very few other visitors. We get to see the storm surge barrier up close. We climb one of the pillars and we walk a small part through the barrier. We also get to see a movie about the history of the barrier, an exposition, and a strange 3D-movie, we visit an even stranger whale, and we see seals. Around four o'clock we eat fries and then we go home. Laura makes a vegetable soup and we watch Eyes Wide Shut.

Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier

Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier.

Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier

Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier.

Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier

View between two parts of the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier.




Seal, in a pool at Neeltje Jans.


Seal, in a pool at Neeltje Jans.

On Tuesday we visit Wissekerke, the village near Goes, and then continue to Middelburg. At the gate of the petting zoo, which is closed for one and a half hour in the middle of the day, I get a headache. It slowly goes away when I drink a Paulaner Weissbier outside a cafe near the Lange Jan (the name of the tower, which means Tall Jan in English) and eat bread with baked mussels. Laura continues the drive through Borssele and its nuclear reactor to Veere. Veere is touristic, but quiet and small and pretty. We eat outside a cafe, right under a nest with as many as five blackbirds in a pot with fake flowers. I have a coffee with a bolus and butter, a typical delicacy from Zeeland. In Veere I buy a bracelet of labradorite for Laura. In the shop a cat is sleeping on a chair. Around five thirty we get back home, after a short stop in Vrouwenpolder to buy beer. I eat a herring at a stall.

Lange Jan

View of the Lange Jan ("Tall Jan") in Middelburg.

meadow with sheep on a dike

Meadow with sheep on a dike.

foals of draught horses

Two foals of draught horses, playing.


View of Veere.

church of Veere

The large church of Veere.

church of Veere

Inside the church.

city hall of Veere

City hall of Veere.

nest of blackbirds in between plastic plants

A nest of blackbirds in between plastic plants.


The blackbirds are in a pot right above my head.

view of Veere

Sky. At the horizon is Veere.

When we're home, after a wheat beer, Laura asks me if I've already read my work-email. Yes, I have. But no, not this last one. My boss mails me that my permanent appointment for three days a week has been approved by the director of the faculty of Science. Yeah! I'm very glad. I call her to thank her for her efforts. We eat steak with potatoes and broccoli, and we watch The Bourne Identity. A permanent job... for three days a week! Wow!

On Wednesday we drive to Veere to buy a present for my boss, pyrite in a piece of marl, in the same shop where yesterday we bought Laura's bracelet. We also search for Laura's other pink glove she lost yesterday. To no avail. We sit outside a cafe in the sun with a waffle with warm cherries and cream. Afterwards we drive to Middelburg and visit the petting zoo. The donkeys want to be petted and the pigs want to be talked to. We buy some extra beer in the supermarket, and in the evening we eat vegetable soup with broccoli and we watch The Bourne Supremacy and Ocean's Twelve (The Bourne Ultimatum doesn't work on this DVD-player).



more sky

Even more sky.


New windmills and an older one.


A pink and a yellow bike.

sunlight on a forest

Sunlight on a forest.

On Thursday first we sit on our terrace for a while and later we sit in the grass a few metres further. The weather is very nice. We walk to the village for coffee but we don't find an opened cafe with sun. Via the supermarket we walk back and we make coffee. We read and have lunch in the grass. Afterwards Laura goes to sleep and I walk through the polder, to the sea and back again. In the evening we drive to Colijnsplaat, which proves to be a beautiful village, but the restaurant is closed on Thursdays. We drive on (actually we drive back) to Kamperland and we eat there in the brewery of Emelisse beer. I eat sole and Laura has a red mullet. Laura drives back, so I get to taste the beer. It is good.


Flowers in the verge of a field.


Flower in the verge of a field.

small farm

A small farm with a handful of cows.


Poppies along the side of the dike.

two horses with foals

Two horses with foals.


Pattern in a field.

at the beach

At the beach near Wissenkerke.

sun through the clouds

Sun through the clouds.


Two pheasants.

young geese

Geese with their young.

cow, pheasant and calf

Cow, pheasant and calf.

geese with young

Geese with their young.

flying goose

Flying goose.


Beneath the dike, at the shore near Wissenkerke.


Lonesome beachcomber.

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