Sunday, April 29, 2018

Breda, Zeeland and Dear Friends

We caught an early train to Breda which is a town in the Netherlands near the Belgian border. It took about 40 minutes.

Our friend Martien met us and took us to his home where Jolanda was waiting. Our family became friends with Martien, Jolanda and their children Leonie (currently visiting Berlin), Felix and Alex when we did the Nomad Tour through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe in 2016. 

After having breakfast Martien drove Jolanda and us to the province of  Zeeland where we explored the Watersnood Museum. This museum was dedicated to the disastrous floods of 1953 and the water management of the delta. Almost 2000 people lost their lives in the flood. Zeeland is below sea level as is Amsterdam. This museum also explains what the government is doing to ensure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen again.

We next went to the pretty town of Zierikzee. The name comes from the German goddess of Siric (goddess of the River Schelde). A picturesque windmill was the first thing we saw in this old Protestant built town. After stopping for lunch we explored the town before driving to see Neeltje Jans where we checked out a dyke close up. I noticed jellyfish swimming in the water.

Returning to the house, Jolanda prepared a delicious supper including white fresh asparagus and pavlova with fresh berries. Yum.

After supper we passed the lovely 19th century windmill at end of their street as we drove into Breda to walk the city centre and have a drink.

During the 16th century Breda was the home of the Protestant Dutch royal family. When the Catholic Spanish invaded the royal family fled to the north   and until this day the north is mostly protestant and the south more catholic.

We walked around the old town centre with its castle, beautiful churches, lovely old pubs and buildings. After having a cherry lambiek beer (John had a local La Trappe beer), we called it a night.

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