Hello! Wow, it’s been a while hasn’t it. I hope you’re all doing well, and that your days look somewhat freer now the clutches of Covid aren’t quite as strong. My last post was literally all about the Dutch Covid rules becoming stricter, but that was back in January, and since then, they’ve eased up almost entirely to be honest. We took that to mean we could head out on a few ‘staycations’ in the Netherlands, and our latest journey took us way way south (3 hours driving in fact!) to Zeeland.
This is mostly going to comprise of photos from our trip to Zeeland’s capital, Middelburg (stunning), Goes (pronounced Ghhhhhooos), and Zierikzee, because I’m not feeling up to my usual rambles today. I hope you enjoy, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments (as ever), so let’s get crack-a-lackin.
Middelburg, Zeeland’s Beautiful Capital
We arrived in Middelburg just after lunchtime on the 15th August. As you can see from the pictures, it was a glorious day; hot sun, warm breeze, blue skies – positively tropical for the Netherlands. Great news though, because it meant we could explore to our heart’s content.
We finished the day with plenty of bitterballen, and probably a few too many fruity beers. Perfect.
We visited Goes (Ghoooos) on our second morning. Now, there’s something you need to know about the Netherlands before I go any further: monday mornings are for lie-ins. Apparently, anyway, because Monday mornings are dead wherever you go. Shops are closed until midday, and the streets turn into alleys that only ghosts wander. And whaddaya know, we rolled up on a Monday morning.
As you can see, Goes was still pretty cute, but a little underwhelming when you’ve spent the day previous walking around the grandeur of Middelburg. We mooched around the ghost streets, and hid under cover at one of the only cafes that happened to be open to escape the cold with a chai latte. And from there, we moved on.
Our final stop was an hour north of Middelburg: Zierikzee. A touristic port town on one of Zeeland’s island inlets, Zierikzee was one of those places that surprises you when you arrive having made zero attempt to research it beforehand. We went on a bit of a whim, thinking it would shave an hour off our journey home (wrong), but actually, we were more than pleasantly surprised by what we found, despite the weather literally raining on our parade.
Zierikzee is brimming with history. It’s a medieval city that’s had ‘city rights’ as they’re known here in the Netherlands, since 1248. A lot of the original roads and buildings have been so well preserved that they’re still standing today, which makes this place pretty awe-inspiring to say the least. If you ever pay Zierikzee a visit, you’ll find boards everywhere showing you exactly which way to head to find all the best bits (and there are over 500 monuments scattered around the city, soooo make sure you arrive with your walking boots on).
If there weren’t gorgeous buildings to wander past, it was stunning bridges like this one. It was such a shame that the weather was so awful, because I’d have loved to spend the entire day exploring this city street by street.
Lunch in Zierikzee
One place you must visit in Zierikzee (and we all know this is heading in the direction of food) is Brasserie de Kaoie and no, I will not pronounce that for you 🙂.
Brasserie de Kaoie was tucked away the other side of the river, but we headed there after chaotically googling a good place to eat to get us out of the rain, pronto. The amount of gezellig atmosphere packed into this one restaurant was practically criminal. It’s a borderline hipster spot, but without the annoying attitude, and enough exposed brick and pipes to be classed as industrial – this is my kinda eaterie. It was a welcome break from the rain, and there was plenty of food to fill our bellies for the journey home.