Those who've been following my blog for the last few years will know that we have made it a habit to go to the coast on New Year's day, and despite the gloomy weather, we didn't depart from that habit this year either, but we did change one part of our routine. Instead of heading for the Zeeuws shoreline, we stayed in Zeeland proper and explored an area we've never visited before.
I was looking at the map of the east side of the Westerschelde tunnel, the 6.6 kilometre tunnel that passes under the estuary. It's quite a challenge to reach it because the approach to said tunnel restricts access to the area, the reason being that it is a toll road and the powers that be don't want people nipping off and into the country before they've coughed up the approximately €5 required. What this means is that the villages and farms in the vicinity are very peaceful and quiet, although I'm guessing that in the summer that might be different.
We were heading for the village of Ellewoutsdijk, which Google reliably informed me had a fort that looked interesting. And it was. All of it. We found a small beach on the way to do our regulation walk along the sands, and then we drove towards the village itself.
What a delight it turned out to be. Quaint, pretty, cobbled, you name it, the village had it. There was also a marina, an interesting (and very old) wetland area, and (of course) the fort.
|Koos doing what Koos does on the beach|
|I did my best to smile, but the wind was bitter, I have to admit|
|Not a big beach, but enough for us|
|The weather became gloomier, but I loved these mudflats at Ellewoutsdijk|
|The entrance to the marina|
We were lucky because it wasn't actually open, but there was a friendly concierge there who welcomed us in and gave us a tour of the interior and the inner courtyard. I can imagine worse places to be locked up; the huge arched rooms were wonderful. Of course the Germans found it useful as they didn't have to worry about where to put their guns; the emplacements were still there. I have to confess I barely understood anything the concierge said. His accent was so strong it all just sounded like words in a tumble dryer to me, but his friendliness made up for everything, and luckily I can read, so I nodded, smiled, let Koos do the talking and took photos of the literature to devour later.
|The Fort 'blurb'.|
These days the Fort is a museum, but it's also used for events and apparently there was even a music festival held there a year or so ago. A fascinating place and well worth a summer visit.
|An impressive wall that originally looked out to sea, but now looks onto the|
massive sea dyke
|The interior room are wonderful|
|The inner courtyard|
|Shell marks around one of the gun emplacements|
It was a real treasure of a find and we'd love to go back. On the way home, we found a gezellig Dutch café that was open for business so we topped off the trip by having coffee and apple pie...there really is nothing better on a cold day.
Have a great week, allemaal. I hope you have all settled into 2019 now and got used to writing 9 instead of 8! It'll take me a while. For now, wishing you all the very best for the coming months!