Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is a nice day trip from Antwerp – about an hour and a bit drive, and the gorgeous flat lands of the Netherlands greet you. It sounds a bit like it should be in Belgium with the Vlaanderen and all, but is very Dutch.
This region is like a series of almost islands – little jutting bits of land connected by some very long bridges. On the way up we stopped in to Goes where there was a church with an exhibition of hand embroidered cloths. Many of them told stories of the year or special occasions. Surprisingly lovely.
Then it was on to charming Zierikzee for that traditional Dutch pasttime – sitting on the side of a canal and watching the lovely old sail boats.
And what trip is complete without a snackeroo? Some fresh cockles and a glass of wine at Brasserie Maritime on the water sure hit the spot. And yes, this is one of the Benelux countries so that is mayonnaise on top. LOVE.
Utrecht city is about an hour and a half drive from Antwerp. Sensibly, because this is Holland where all things are sensible, there are park and ride stations located on every major highway into town. You definitely want to park and ride, what makes Utrecht so lovely is how pedestrian friendly it is, and how few cars there are.
Utrecht is a University Town which means there is lots of great cheep food, fun bars and places to shop. It also means vibrant stencil work about town – like this one which marries Delft patterns with bombers.
Centraal Museum has this amazing Victor and Rolf gown that I covet. Perhaps for a wedding some day?
Apparently Dick Bruna himself still regularly pops by on his bicycle to visit the Dick Bruna Huis. My favourite bit of this museum were the cabinets with letters and handmade outfits for nijntje sent from around the world (very frequently from Japan).
After a hard day of museums and fabulous coffee it is compulsory to sit by the canal and have a nice beer with something delicious. The choice of restaurants is rather good, particularly liked the cheap vegetarian De Werfkring at 123 Oudegracht.