From Hilversum to Hoevenen
The weather forecast for Sunday, 15 September 2019 was very good.
One of the nearby airfields René had never been before was Hoevenen, near the Port of Antwerp.
We decided to fly there, and to make a nice sightseeing detour over Zeeland on the way back from Hoevenen.
After take-off, we left the traffic pattern of Hilversum airfield, and then set course to the south-south-west.
When we reached the River Lek near Nieuwpoort, we followed the river to the west to the (unavoidable) Kinderdijk with its Mills.
Then we continued in the direction of Hoevenen again.
On the way we passed Dordrecht, Moerdijk, Klundert, Seppe and Woensdrecht.
At Hoevenen airfield we joined overhead to the left-hand circuit to land on runway 33.
Nieuwpoort is one of the smallest fortified towns in the Netherlands.
Nieuwpoort played an important role in the Old Hollandic Waterline, a water-based defence system.
Before departure at Hilversum
The famous windmills of Kinderdijk rise above the polder landscape of Alblasserwaard.
A thousand years ago, this whole area was one big peat bog, trapped between raging rivers and the fury of the sea.
As the first permanent settlers arrived, they built their homes on local sand dunes to keep their heads above water in case of floods.
Over time to drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740.
This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands.
In 1583 the city of Klundert was given a wall, the Fortifications of Klundert, built by order of Willem van Oranje.
From then on, Klundert, together with nearby Willemstad, was part of the Hollandsch Diep and Volkerak defense lines.
Final runway 33 Hoevenen
Arrived at Hoevenen
From Hoevenen to Hilversum
At Hoevenen airfield we ordered luch.
In the meantime we filed our (mandatory) cross-border flightplan back to Hilversum, with Haamstede on the route.
After lunch and coffee we walked back to the airplane to fly back to Hilversum.
Departure from Hoevenen
Oostkanaal, Port of Antwerp
During the 11th century, the settlement of Hulst took root on the spot where the Grote Markt stands today.
As the 17th century opened, defence walls were added, of which some remain visible today.
On their landside, a moat; on the southern perimeter, a double moat.
The defensive ring comprised six gates, four ravelins (an arrow-shaped outwork), nine ramparts and a town mill.
In the Eighty Year War, Axel was a link in the Staats-Spaanse Linies, the defence frontline of forts between the Dutch and Spanish forces.
In the Second World War, it was liberated by the First Polish Pantser Division, led by Colonel Szydlowski, which explains a number of street names today.
The name Middelburg from being the middle borough ('middelste burcht') on Walcheren island in the 9th century.
This was the time of the Viking invasions of Europa and defensive ramparts were built around the island, so the central settlement acquired the name Middelburg.
During the days of the Dutch East India Company ('VOC') Middelburg was second only to Amsterdam as the most important town in the Netherlands.
If you love architecture, Rotterdam is definitely worth a visit.
In the city centre, historic buildings and characteristic post-war reconstruction architecture clash cheerfully with the hypermodern skyscrapers built in more recent decades.
Gouda's association with cheese has made it famous.
The town's namesake export is among the Netherlands' best known.
Non-cheesy attractions include the Sint Janskerk and the mid-15th-century town hall.
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