We packed up our rental car and bid farewell to Oirsbeek on 31 May. In an effort to tick off some ‘wish list’ places to see and gradually remove ourselves from NL, we set up nine days of travel before flying back to Boston. Ironically, our tour started with a detour to southern Belgium.

We wanted to see the historic Leffe brewery in Dinant where our favorite Belgian beer is brewed. Unfortunately when we arrived there, we were told the daily tours don’t start until the 1st of June. We missed it by one day! It was a beautiful warm day so we found a nice place to drink a Leffe Blond along the river. We then took a gondola ride up to the citadel and did a self guided tour, which was pretty cool.

Time to head to our destination: Zeeland. Our drive took a little longer than expected because the traffic around Brussels and Antwerp is always bad. We finally arrived at our Airbnb in Grijpskerke, but it was a little difficult to find because the little log cabin in the pictures turned out to be hidden behind the owners house. It was literally in their backyard/garden. It was kind of cute, but not terribly scenic since it was surrounded by fence on three sides. The bathroom was also a bit funky, but I won’t go there.

After a not so great night of sleep, we went into the closest coastal town the next morning to rent bikes. The idea was to do a scenic bike ride through some woods, along the North Sea and then through some farm land and small towns. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? The first leg through the forest was nice. We kept looking for a turn to go to the sea along this route. Dick abruptly decided to pull over in Domburg to walk around the town — because he was being spontaneous. This may have caused some irritation to his companion and it may have put a damper on the rest of the afternoon. 😡

Speaking of damp…. when we finally turned toward the sea, it had started to rain. We then proceeded to bike into the rain for over an hour. Jammer! Turning around with the wind at our backs was a big improvement. We passed through some nice fields including a field of daisies — wow! At one point, the strap from my bag got caught in the bike chain and we had to stop to disentangle it. Heel jammer! We stopped for a coffee break shortly after that and had a delicious apple tart. Nerves soothed. 🙂 The rain let up and the wind dried us off before we got back to our starting point.

We walked around Middelburg in the evening and had some seafood for dinner. I was bummed that mussels are out of season and I won’t get a chance to have Zeeland mussels again before we leave. ☹️

We returned Middelburg the next morning to visit the Zeeuse Archives, which is a very nice modern facility that also houses a genealogy center. We browsed the exhibits and picked up some genealogy information. Some of Dick’s ancestors came from Zeeland. There was a choir festival going on — over 200 choirs were performing all over the city. We could hear some of them as we passed by the various venues and the groups were identifiable by their matching outfits.

Our drive out of Zeeland was scenic. We stopped briefly in Goes to get some lunch and Ouddorp to watch the kite surfers and sail boarders. We would really like to come back to Zeeland for a longer stay!