A la playa – a beach day in Zandvoort

For the longest time, I’ve been convinced that the term “beach day” couldn’t possibly be applied to the Dutch context. Hearing Dutch friends tell me about a lovely beach day they experienced the week before was a story I deemed akin to the descriptions of the Scottish Loch ness. I then stored the information in a mental box of “antropological maladies.” Het was lekker warm! someone exclaimed, and I nodded to this very peculiar form of Dutch-collective-delirium. The lack of sun can have its consequences, you know, and psychological malfunction seemed a very feasible one to me.

Every time I been in a Dutch beach it was plain COLD. At times freezing due to the wind. I had given up. For me it was fine: I’d go to the lakes, I’d swim in the canals, I’d sunbathe at the parks, but please don’t try and convince me that it is going to be pleasant weather next to the sea. This was until last Wednesday, the 14th of September of 2016.

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That afternoon, Linda and I took the train to Zandvoort beach. Linda belongs to the group of people who wouldn’t be cold anyway – she grew up in Friesland. I belonged to the group of the non-believers. The reason I went there had nothing to do with hope, but pure escapism: I was boiling in the city. It was 30 degrees in the whole country, but from my experience, no doubt it would be windy next to the coast. I didn’t know that in the next couple of hours I would experience one of the most surprising revelations since I live in this country. And now, while telling this story, I feel like some sort of pilgrim: one chosen among the foreigners in the Low Countries to witness and spread the word about this miracle.

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These photos were taken in order to serve as proof that “it” exists. The REAL beach day *can occur* in The Netherlands. I saw it. I felt it. I’m officially converted.


We went to Zandvoort with the train. It takes exactly 30 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station to Zandvoort aan Zee. Then we walked around 20 minutes in a straight line along the beach to Bloemendaal aan Zee. Bloemendaal, with its untouched dunes, feels a bit wilder than Zandvoort. The ‘no-man’s-land’ between the two beaches is the best area to chill-out, if you ask me.

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