The color of the sky over Zeeland is a pale gray-blue.

At least that's how scientists determined the average color tone in order to match the color of the new power poles to the wide sky as unobtrusively as possible.

In a delicate pale blue, they now tower over the flat land like fir trees and bring high-voltage current from the wind farms in the North Sea to the industrial centers in the interior of the country.

The blades of the wind turbines turn white over the sea.

Huge container ships, as colorful as Lego sets, glide through the wide estuary in the direction of Ghent and Antwerp.

Pilot boats, as small as sea gnats, guide the monster ships past the shoals and sandbanks of the Scheldt.

If you have binoculars handy, you can see black spots in the estuary at low tide, seals romping about on the sandbanks, unperturbed by traffic.

An old mill turns leisurely on the dike.

Beaches with fine, white sand stretch for kilometers below the dyke.

You gradually pass into a dune landscape that is characteristic of the island tip between Domburg and Vlissingen, a natural protective wall against the sea.

Sea view with Bitterballen and beer

Wide dunes, white beaches, sand and sea.

There is hardly anyone between the Rhine and Ruhr who has not already spent a summer's day in Zeeland.

Ever since the motorway from the mainland via Bergen op Zoom to Vlissingen was built in the 1960s, millions of German holidaymakers have been drawn here every year.

However, there are no big hotels like on the neighboring Belgian North Sea coast.

Rather, old merchant towns, farms and holiday resorts crouch behind the dikes.

Only a few apartment buildings on the promenade in Vlissingen look out to sea with their glass window fronts.

That would be forbidden today, explains Marcel van der Borgt, a former geography teacher who is young at heart and with whom we are visiting the island.

Zeeland relies on sustainable tourism, he says.

We sit in front of the old watchtower in Vlissingen, with bitterballen and beer, and look across the sea at the wide sky, which today is not average gray-blue at all, but glows deep blue.

Only the cold wind blowing over the dykes reminds us that we are at the North Sea and we are happy to be sitting protected behind a pane of glass.

Marcel has brought a stack of historical maps to show us how the land in the sea, as Zeeland is translated, changed its shape century by century.

The only mountains are the dikes

Zeeland, the westernmost province of the Netherlands, once consisted of countless islands, many of them just sandy hills in the wide estuary of the Scheldt.

The land belonged to the Counts of Flanders and Holland.

Merchant ships operated between England and the up-and-coming cities of Antwerp and Ghent.

The islanders protected their land from the sea with dams made of stacked sods.

The first ring villages emerged.

In its center is a brick church with high Gothic windows and a needle-sharp steeple.

Next to it was a fire pond, which also served as a watering place for cattle, surrounded by red brick farmhouses and craftsmen's houses in a circle.

Nisse in Zuid-Beveland is such a village.

It has retained its original shape to this day.

Marcel van der Borgt is waiting for us there the next day.

He has decided to show us a piece of unknown Zeeland.

On foot and by Fiets - these are not nostalgic Dutch bikes, but modern e-bikes, with which we will follow him through nature reserves, coastal paths and enchanted villages over the next few days.