The province of Zeeland, the Netherlands. Levees protecting the land against the water, with surge barriers connecting the peninsulas with each other. Empty space, trees, agriculture, sheep and wind.

Early morning near Borsele, December 2023

Zeeland is a popular destination for tourists, and with 3% more than the rest of the country the sunniest province of the nation. Spread across the peninsulas are cute towns, the provincial capital city of Middelburg and the important harbour city of Vlissingen. In the latter, one comes up close to big ships sailing in and out of nearby Antwerpen, Belgium.
I am building up this album with photos taken throughout many years of visiting Zeeland. Starting with the latest few taken in December 2023.
With less than 400 hundred inhabitants Ellewoutsdijk is the smallest settlement within the municipality of Borsele. Nowadays, Ellewoutsdijk is most known for the entrance / exit of the tunnel that spans the Westerschelde natural waterway that flows from Antwerp and the North Sea.
Just behind the levee that protects the village against the waves are grazing lands for animals and fields for birds. Also, Fort Ellewoutsdijk is located here. Finished in 1839 after Belgium became independent from the Netherlands, the Nazi-Germans used it as a prison during World War 2. After the war it was used as ammunition storage. Since 1981 the fortress is a Nature monument, regularly open to the public.
The hardened path on both sides of the levee are popular among dog walkers, joggers and cyclists alike, who enjoy often windy conditions and views far away.
Those who love ships, will love Vlissingen (Flushing in English). From the centre boulevards along the Westerschelde it sometimes feels one can almost hug the giant sea-going vessels that flow in and out Antwerp harbour, Belgium, harbour east.
The city has a beach right in the centre, for whoever does not want to wander further onto the former island of Walcheren. The city is alive, and certainly worth a visit when in the neighbourhood.

The city boulevard near the beach, in 2009.

The Emperor's Stronghold in Vlissingen
The Keizersbolwerk (Emperor's Stronghold) at the entry point of the small harbour used by the pilots, is probably the best location to go ship spotting.
Fishermen have been using what is now Vlissingen ever since the 600s. It was a main harbour for the Dutch expansion, trade and occupation fleets into Asia in the 1600s and therefor has helped the Netherlands gain its wealth and status. Vlissingen kept its importance for the fleet, with shipyard De Schelde being the standard builder of ships for the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Ship spotting at the Keizersbolwerk, Vlissingen

Pilot boat 1 Jan Breydel
Pilot boat 1 Jan Breydel
Fishing boat YE-138
Fishing boat YE-138

Taking aim at the incoming ocean going vessels, using the long lens.

The Windrose light tower near the Keizersbolwerk
The Windrose light tower near the Keizersbolwerk

Ships against the sunset, in Vlissingen, 2009.

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