Fall in Love with Meetjesland

What and Where

Although Belgium is small and is densely populated, there are still rural areas where you can find peace and quiet and where you will hardly meet a tourist. Such an area is Meetjesland, situated in the northwest of the province of East Flanders. The town of Eeklo is its (non-official) capital.

Source: toerismemeetjesland.be

But where does the name Meetjesland come from? This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

There are many legends surrounding the origin of the name. The most known is the one of Emperor Charles V (Charles V) who was known for his sexual appetite. The story goes that when he traveled through the region people hid their daughters and their attractive young women, making emperor Charles think this region was full of old women (meetjes).

In the summer of 2017, Lars and I spent a whole day driving around in this region, which is characterized by forests, canals, polders, and creeks. If you like landscapes we highly recommend a visit to Meetjesland.

Sint-Jan-in-Eremo

This is a small village with about 1.000 inhabitants. Most of them, however, live in nearby Bentille; in Sint-Jan-in-Eremo itself there are merely a handful of houses. We mainly came here to photograph the biggest creek in this area, called the Boerekreek.

There is also a canal, called the Leopoldkanaal, the scene of heavy fights during World War I and II.

Source: visstekken.be

Assenede

Do you like mussels? Then you really have to go to this small town, which is known for its many mussel restaurants. Assenede has a rural character, probably because it is quite isolated, due to the lack of public transport connections with Ghent and Brussels. Nevertheless, it has a rich cultural life.

Around Assenede you will find creeks and polders.

Wippelgem

And now for something completely different: the “Kasteel van Wippelgem”, which stands for “Castle of Wippelgem”. Its original name is “Goed ten Hulle”; the castle dates from late medieval times and was reconstructed in the 19th century. The domain is open to the public and the castle serves as a location for weddings and other festivities.

Although it was very cloudy, it was actually quite hot, so Lars and I were in desperate need of a beer. Luckily for us, there was a cafe/restaurant on the domain.

The official address is Kramershoek 4, 9940 Evergem. (Wippelgem is part of Evergem).

Schipdokkanaal

Our next stop was at Zomergem. We were not in the village itself but at the nearby Schipdonkkanaal.

This canal runs from the town of Deinze to the North Sea.

Source: Wikipedia

Because of its strategic position, some heavy fights took place at the Schipdonkkanaal during both World Wars.

Kraenepoel

Near the small village of Bellem is a beautiful fishing pond, called Kraenepoel. It originates from the 13th century and is home to a lot of fauna and flora.

As usual, I will soon post the other pictures on our sister website, The Cosy Traveler. And here is a map with the locations mentioned in this post.

Our next post is something really special! The building and domain are not open to the general public, they served as a movie location and are also part of our urbex project, Creepy Travels.

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