Discover Holland Weekend – Zeeland

13118990_710928932382212_1016727248020145068_nZeeland, other than giving the name to its newer version in the Pacific Ocean, is the south-westernmost province of the Netherlands.  Just the mere name is a sort of oxymoron, a contradiction in terms: sea-land. Two concepts that normally would annul each other: the land stops where the sea begins, and vice versa, in the same way in which we do not have such a thing as a sky-ground or a moon-sun. But here come in action the Dutchies. You see, this marvellous people may not have stood out in History for the battles they won.  No, much more dramatically they started centuries ago a never-ending struggle with nature. And surprisingly enough, they are even winning. They pulled a province pretty much out of the sea, for no other apparent reason than just to say: “Because we can”. And here we have Zeeland!

The whole province is pretty much made of small islands, other than for a thin southern strip of land which belongs entirely but in politics to the Belgian Flanders, and they are sort of a natural mouth both to the harbour of Antwerp, and to the southern branch of the Rhine river, the Waal.

For this very layout, Zeeland may look different from the other provinces of the Netherlands to an average tourist, including an international student going there for a Discover Holland Weekend organised by the lovely Cultural Committee (ah, now you see where this article is heading?).

To visit this province you may want to take residence in one of its lovely small settlements, like Bruinisse. A city which begins and ends more or less at the same point (no really, the traffic signs telling you so are exactly in the same spot!), whose bar (no plural intended) will warmly welcome you: just be careful about not guzzling out your entire wallet (right Mikey, Isaac and Teo?).

20160430_135321The capital city of this province, Middelburg, is quite a hidden gem. As long as you do not let yourself be blocked by the canal surrounding its city centre, you will get lost (literally, Marco docet) in its romantic medieval alleys, and beautifully decorated squares.

Renesse quite fittingly is another non-place in a non-place province. It may appear more like the scenery of a movie or a theme park, with long streets cutting through the camping lots and scattered clubs. It is precisely in one of them – like Pinkys – that you may want to spend your last night, to show to those teenagers how you bust your moves. Just, be sure not to end up in jail (thanks Alex).

After such a night, if you are lucky enough to get on a Party Bus (literally), you may return without recalling much of what happened, but knowing you rocked the Zeelander night.


Finally, a visitor cannot miss the Deltawerken, an impressive system of dams and sluice realised by the Dutch government after the disastrous flood of 1953 to say once again “In your face nature!” More precisely, I recommend stopping and taking your selfies at the Oosterscheldekering, or Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier if you will, possibly the most powerful architectural effort of all the Delta works.

If you still have time left, you may want to play some outdoor activity ( a living Stratego game is always a safe choice). Or just chill out in the sun.

Mediterranea Sea? Baja California? Nope, Zeeland fellas

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