Saturday 8 May 2021
07h30 to 20h30 (t.b.c.)
Zeeland Province, the Netherlands
Transportation by private 4* luxury coach
UPDATE 7 MAY
THIS TRIP IS CONFIRMED. WE ARE GOING.
IF YOU WANT TO JOIN, EVEN IF IT IS ON FRIDAY EVENING THAT YOU REALIZE YOU WANT
TO GET OUT FOR A NICE DAY, JUST SEND US A MESSAGE TO INFO@EXPATCLUB.ORG
OR FILL OUT THE FIELDS ON THIS PAGE.
This last-minute trip will take us to the Province of Zeeland in the Southwest of the Netherlands. Compared to the rest of the country it is not densely populated. It is rather flat and green, with large fields for cattle and crops, but also with endless orchards and tulip / flower fields. On top of that there are quite a few smaller historic cities and villages that are totally worth visit. During this day we go to Middelburg (40.000), but also the picturesque town of Zierikzee and the fortified village Veere. The province is a major tourist destination for Dutch, Belgians and Germans due to its beautiful coastline with many long white sandy beaches and resort towns, the endless water sports facilities (surfing, sailing, swimming, fishing, diving). Today we are going to make a super nice road trip with various stops to show you the best Zeeland has to offer.
How to book?
You can now book your spot by leaving your name(s) in the reservation system. Just add only 1 ticket and indicate with how many people you would like to come. You can also send all information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our regular online reservation and payment system currently doesn’t work. We are in the process of installing a new website and until then we can only ask you to reserve by reserving a spot and making a regular bank transfer. We can also send a payment link for an online payment by Bancontact or credit card.
What is the price?
Tickets are €100 per person (€60 children), which includes the full bus tour, visits to Yerseke, Zierikzee, Veere and Middelburg, as well as various stops along the way with beautiful panoramic views or parts of the Delta Works. A nice lunch bag is also included in the price. This is prepared by the Van der Valk Hotel in Goes.
Can I travel to Holland?
Short answer yes. Long answer also yes… Many have questions or doubts whether a negative PCR test is required. This is not the case if you travel with a private group in a bus. A (home) quarantine is also not required when entering the Netherlands. In both countries travel by bus is possible with full capacity. We travel with a double-decker so we have ample spots and room available. Of course some measures apply during the trip (e.g. social distancing outside the bus, but not inside the bus), but they are comparable to Belgium although a mask is not required outside.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, JUST GIVE US A CALL AT 0495-345144 (EDGAR)
What is included?
- Panoramic bus tour over dozens of kilometers of damns, dikes and bridges
- Packed lunch with nice sandwiches, orange juice & snacks (restaurants still closed)
- Visit to outside the “Flood” museum (it’s unfortunately still closed inside)
- Drive over Oosterscheldekering (world-famous storm surge barrier)
- Visit to towns of Zierikzee, Veere, Middelburg and Yerseke
Zeeland is know for the incredible Deltaworks. You may not have heard of this engineering marvel, but after this visit you will understand why the Dutch are famous for their water engineering and are asked for the most complex projects around in the world, such as ship wreckage removal, dredging, reclaiming new lands, building protective dikes etcetera.
To fully grasp why this project is so enormous, we have to go back to one of the worst moments in Dutch history. On 31 January 1953 a dramatic flood swept over the Southwestern part of the Netherlands. A combination of very strong spring tide with a very strong Southwestern storm pushed massive amounts of water into the various inlets (see map above). As a result several key dikes broke and the hinterland was inundated. Over 2000 people died.
As a result the Dutch government started an enormous program that took until 2012 to be finished. “The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dykes, levees and storm surge barriers. The aim of the dams, sluices, and storm surge barriers was to shorten the Dutch coastline, thus reducing the number of dikes that had to be raised.” (Source: Wikipedia).
We will visit the outside of the Watersnood / Flood Museum so you some of the concrete structures from up close. Since the museums in Holland are still closed, we cannot go inside unfortunately. We also visit the Neeltje Jans and stand close to the incredible Oosterscheldekering, the Storm Surge Barrier.
Today we are going to make a great scenic bus tour, which includes driving over many kilometers of dams, dikes and bridges. You will get to really see the province of Zeeland with its beautiful lakes, kanals and inlets. On the bus we show you a documentary of the great flood of 1953 and the Delta Works. With the museums being closed, you therefore still get a full picture of what happened here over half a century ago and how one of the world largest and for sure longest engineering project came about, what it entails and how it protects the low lands of the Netherlands.
We begin our tour in Yerseke, the Mussels and Oyster capital of the Netherlands, Yerseke. Many if not most of the Moules (Frites) you find in Brussels come from this little town. We will make a quick stop here so you get a quick view of the “farms” where they are grown.
The Oosterschelde or the Eastern Scheldt is one of the main waterbodies in Zeeland. It is home to the largest National Parks in the Netherlands. We will drive over a long dike, which probably will be filled with cars and vans of enthusiastic divers, because this is one of the best diving spots in the Benelux. After picking up our lunch we continue our way to the Zeeland Bridge, the longest bridge in the Netherlands. Built between 1963 and 1965, it connects the islands of Schouwen-Duiveland and Noord-Beveland and spans a distance of 5 kilometers.
Our next destination will be the historic and picturesque city of Zierikzee. Situated on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland, the town received city rights back in 1248, but already existed before that. Due to its location on the Oosterschelde and close to the North Sea it was a city of strategic importance. When you walk into the town, which only has 11.000 inhabitants, you immediately notice how rich it must have been through the ages. It may remind you of Amsterdam, Enkhuizen and Delft, which were also part of the cities connected to the VOC, the United East Indian Company, the world’s oldest and first-traded company. In fact, Zierikzee was equally important as the current capital of Amsterdam.
One of the treasures of Holland, Veere is a tiny but historic old town that was founded in the 13th century. Despite its size it showed great courage throughout the centuries by not only become an important trading town (like Zierikzee and Middelburg), but also by assimilation with the rebels against the ruling of the Spanish Alva (Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel) during the 80-years war. Nowadays a visit to Veere is not complete with a walk over, through and under its defense works and of course the attractive town center and harbor.
Our final destination is Middelburg. The town’s origins go back a very long way, namely to the end of the first millennium (around 850). Although the city never reached the size of other Dutch cities (e.g. Rotterdam or Amsterdam) it did play an important role in history. For instance, during Holland’s Golden Age (17th century) the East Indian Company and the West Indian Company both had representations here. The town is a true gem in this part of the country, and you’ll find many beautiful buildings. Nice details is that the Roosevelt Presidents (of the United States) have their origins here.
With restaurants still being closed and only allowed to open up their terraces, it is still not possible for a group to make reservations (+ it may be too chilly to sit outside). Therefore Expat Club again arranges nice lunch packages with at least 2 good sandwiches (vegetarian available), something to drink and some snacks. You can eat this in the bus or take it with you outside when we walk through the towns and other destinations.
We depart at 8h00 from Place Schuman, as usual with a very comfortable 4* luxury coach, but now one with 78-seats, so plenty of space for the passengers. It has a lot of leg space, reclining comfort seats, air-conditioning, flat screen TVs and an on-board toilet. Along the way we provide you with some drinks and snacks so you can optimally enjoy the ride!
All times are tentative. The final times and program will be communicated to all participants by email on Friday.