Discovering and photographing the unknown beauty of Europe
The second weekend of January 2013 started with cold but sunny weather. Excellent conditions to go for a walk and Lars and I chose to explore the region of Vlissingen in the Netherlands:
I have the feeling that we are a bit cursed. When we started with our Ypres Salient Car Route, there were roadworks in Ypres; we had the same problem in Metz and now in Vlissingen … roadworks again. After 30 minutes of driving around we finally found a place to park the car and went to the Tourist Information Office (called VVV in the Netherlands).
We bought a cheap map where we could easily find the highlights of the area. To be honest, I have been in Zeeland lots of times before and I couldn’t wait to start exploring new villages and beautiful places.
Since we had left Belgium quite late in the morning, it was already time for lunch when we left Vlissingen for our first destination: Westkapelle:
This small town had a lot to endure during World War II. According to Wikipedia,
On 3 October 1944, the dyke to the south of town was destroyed by British bombers – an event still known in Westkapelle simply as “‘t Bombardement” (“the Bombardment”) – to flood the German occupation troops in Walcheren and so make liberation easier. 180 inhabitants were killed in the bombing and the village was all but wiped off the face of the earth by the bombs and the incoming sea. On 1 November 1944, Allied troops performed an amphibious landing on the northern and southern edges of the gap made in the dyke. During these landings, only six people remained in the village; the rest of the survivors had been evacuated to other villages nearby. It took until 12 October 1945, more than a year later, to finally close the gap in the dyke.
A visible reminder of the Second World War is the brackish lake formed by the inrushing flood when the dike was bombed. An M4 Sherman tank was placed on the dyke as a memorial to the war and to the village’s liberation. Behind the lighthouse, placed in a semicircle, are the graves of the war dead.
We found a place on the dyke where we could park the car and have lunch. In the meantime I took these pictures: