Kraenepoel

Introducing Meetjesland

It may sound incredible, but even in a small country like Belgium, there are regions that are as good as unknown to the general public. One such region is called the Meetjesland. This is roughly said the area between Gent and Brugge. It is a mainly rural area with the town of Eeklo as its capital. A land of canals, creeks and castles. By the way, on Wikipedia, I found this article about the origin of the name of this region:

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).

Lars and I started our exploration in the small village of Sint-Jan-in-Eremo. We parked our car near the Leopoldkanaal, a 46-kilometre long canal, situated in the north of Belgium. You best program your GPS for the Sint-Jansstraat.

The biggest creek is called “Boerekreek”, which stands for Farmer’s Creek and I managed to come very near to it:

Although it was very tempting to taste a beer in the local café, we decided to go to our next destination: Assenede, one of the oldest municipalities of Flanders, with official documents going back to the 10th century. It has a really cosy centre, but unfortunately we couldn’t get rid of the car. We then parked it outside the town, not far from one of the local creeks. The street is called the Doornendijkstraat.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get very far… It started raining and we decided to go back to the car.

Too bad that café was closed… Lars and I were becoming very thirsty.

As soon as we got in the car, it stopped raining (of course!). Lars was complaining about back pains however and didn’t fancy a walk anymore. Instead, we drove to Wippelgem, which is known for its beautiful castle. To be honest, I don’t know when it was built, but the estate looked really photogenic.

We were lucky: there was a café on the estate!

The beer we had was a Witkop – Pater Dubbel, a brown beer of 7%. A quite sweet beer, one of our best discoveries of this year. And then it was time for a last look at the estate. By the way, the castle is located in the Kramershoek number 4.

Wippelgem

It started to rain again by the time we reached Zomergem. The canal you see on the pictures is the Schipdonkkanaal. We really liked to landscapes here and if it wasn’t for the rain, we would have stayed a bit longer. Program your GPS for the Stoktevijver.

We saved the best for last. In Bellem, we discovered the Kraenepoel, a lake dating from the 13th century. Given the fact that some rare plants grow in and around this lake, this is a protected area.

Program your GPS for the Lotenhullestraat. The body of water is clearly visible at the right side of the street.

If you like to discover the more rural aspect of Belgium and enjoy some peace and quiet, we can highly recommend the Meetjesland. You do need your own car, however, to explore this region since it is hard to get around this area with public transport.

1 Comment

  • ostendnomadography August 1, 2017 at 1:52 am

    Definitely a great area to discover and explore! Nice photo essay!

    Reply

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