Friday, 18 August 2006
After reaching Middelburg, we took the opportunity to explore a little... It is a pretty town, with a number of interesting things to see and do. We explored around the town centre, and its various churches, alleyways, and quaint streets. However, through tiredness, we eventually found ourselves back at the boat, and retired to bed pretty early. A full nights uninterrupted sleep, and we had a day set aside in Middelburg to explore a little better. The church bells reminded us of the quarter hours, with their pleasant chimes, and against this backdrop we set off.. The kids had seen an advert for a place that showed the whole of the Walcheren district in miniature, so we headed towards this. On the way, we were lucky enough to stumble across what seeed to be quite a major local event... a sport known as 'ring jousting'. This involves a rider on a horse charging down a narrow aisle of sand with a lance with a spike on the end, rather similar to a Javelin, and to try and hook a ring held on a rope. The ring is the diameter of a two pence piece, so it is no small challenge. There were quite a large number of competitors, and a larger number of spectators, and was clearly a major local event. We watched entranced for a while, and eventually moved on towards the exhibition we had set off to see. Miniature Walcheren was worth seeing, at least from the kids perspective anyway, and we wasted a good few hours. We then spent the rest of the afternoon browsing the little shops in the pretty alleyways, and generally wandering around the multitude of canalside walks... Only purchase was a pair of clogs for the kids, which they were delighted to learn that in Dutch are called 'Klomps'!