After breakfast we all set off in the van- Desiree, Bert, Kit, Sjoerd, Richard, Anne, Andrew and I. We headed to Zeeland on the A29 for an interesting drive through a lot of farmland farming, sheep, cattle and then more horticulture and orchards. We had to stop on the highway for a bridge lifting up to let the boats through on Hollands Deep River, then over a very long bridge to Zierikzee. We drove around there, through the very narrow streets then Bert stopped by the church for us to have a walk around. It was very cold but it was still an enjoyable walk around the beautiful little streets filled with cottage inspired houses and historic buildings.
We then went over the Zeelandbrug N256 before hooking onto the A58 and we headed towards Kapellen. We were now in Belguim, then realised we had taken the wrong turn, thanks to the Dutch speaking Navman and Richard pressing the wrong button, taking the alternative route and we were miles away heading towards the ring road around Antwerp and Zwijndrecht. By this time it was past lunchtime and we were all getting pretty hungry but the plan was to go to Nieuwliet to 'The Museum Cafe of Koekoeks Nest' back in Holland. This was an amazing place and well worth the drive- I don't think I would suggest taking the long alternative route that we did though! We only had a drink here as the food was not that exciting according to the family and we couldn't read the menu so we took their word for it! The inside was full of lots of old instruments adapted to play from an old fairground organ, accordions, guitars, violins, piano's, drums- you name it and it probably would have been there in some way or form. Recorders hanging from the ceiling at different levels surrounding a light almost had a chandelier look to them. They had various holes blocked off so that when the air was pumped through they played a tune accompanied by other instruments. We must have been there an hour just listening and looking around. A model galleon was moving around suspended on a track. It was all very exciting!
We were all very hungry after this because we expected to eat here so we started looking for somewhere else to eat so we started driving towards the coast. We went through a couple of very nice villages but being Sunday unfortunately most places were closed. We sent Sjoerd into one place but didn't come up to his expectations so we drove on and ended up at a seaside place called CadzandBad. We went to a very nice restaurant and had a beautiful meal at a classy restaurant that suited everyone. We walked over the dyke afterwards to see the beach and from here we could look back towards the southern island of Zeeland. The sun had come out and we could see several container ships sailing by. Simply stunning! From here we headed back to Rotterdam, another 163kms through the 6km tunnel from Terneuzem, then bypassing Bergen op Zoon, Roosendaal, Dordrecht to Ridderkerk.
It was a big day especially for Bert driving but it was fabulous spending time in the country through small villages, most seemed to have a church and a windmill, and we were all together so it was very memorable. We have now seen a snapshot of Holland north of Amsterdam and we went south into Belguim which was much further than we thought we would go!
We plan to have a relaxing morning tomorrow and weather permitting we might go for a bike ride nearby. Then it's back to London we go! Anne and Richard are on the same flight as us and will stay with us for one night before heading North West to Evesham. We have had such an amazing weekend that we will live in our memories forever!