We live almost next to the ocean (14km bike ride), we can visit the beach on any given day of the week to enjoy the sand, wind, and surf (mostly it is also accompanied by rain), so why did we need a week vacation on the beach? Are we heading towards a new kayak experience? Sadly this small vacation adventure was brought on by floor remodeling. We can’t walk on the floors for several days due to preparation and installation.
We had researched many different lodging locations to stay close to the work at the house. The location had to also be close to work for the Hubby. Hubby loves the ocean, and he got a great discount from his work to stay at a NH Hotel. We picked Zandvoort aan Zee as the location and were lucky enough to get an ocean view.
Now, all of my blog readers and inspiring writers, please don’t hate me as I am typing this blog in what most writers would consider the prime writing location and conditions. I have a room/office with an ocean view. The changing conditions of the ocean that can inspire us to dig deep into our inner emotions to pull out that one story to make us a million dollars. Maybe the one blog that will inspire the plethora of my followers to share this story, make us over night famous. Then we won’t have to count on the lottery numbers and hard work. We can just retire early. As you can see, I already have a head start on fantasy.
The ocean does have a way of inspiring. Throughout history the fisherman, sailors, explorers and those they left behind on shore, told romantic and adventurous stories of the ocean. Maybe it is possible for me too?
I didn’t feel like writing this morning. Even as I was cooped up in this wonderful room I wanted to explore the area around Zandvoort. I have already explored most of the things this town has to offer. I walked on the beach, I viewed the racetrack from our third floor window and watched as normal cars had their day on the former Formula One track, and drank coffee at a local beach restaurant as I watched wave after endless wave roll up against the beach. I even took pictures of kite surfers.
I needed something new to do. So I hopped on my bike and headed North with no prior planning and not having an idea where I would end up. Ok…I knew that IJmuiden was North of Zandvoort. I had also biked through a part of this area on several other bike trips just not on this route right next to the ocean.
The sparsely populated dunes are covered with grass. This undeveloped land next to the ocean is part of the Dutch defense from the ocean. Being a river delta country and having a large portion of the land being claimed from the sea the Dutch have set aside this area as a protected nature reserve and National Park in order to maintain the integrity of the coastline. The hope is to protect the interior of the country from rising sea levels and huge storms.
The resort town of Zandvoort has a remote feel. The town has never been allowed to expand beyond what has existed. It belongs to the Dutch people. Tourist from all over Europe and other parts of the world come here to enjoy the natural unobstructed views of the North Sea.
As I rode my bike a small overlook caught my eye. I stopped, walked up to the overlook and took in the view of ocean, dunes, and vast landscapes. It was the inspiration I needed to continue to avoid my writing for the day.
I continued a couple of kilometers further coming to Bloemendaal aan Zee. This area is a small group of buildings of tourists establishments and hotels. Now mostly empty due to the fall season, I still saw a healthy amount of visitors on a sunny fall day biking and hiking in the dunes and along the ocean shore. I turned my bike and headed towards the dunes further North.
I entered into the National Park area. The traffic and noise now all but disappeared and was replaced by the sound of the ocean waves, the wind from the ocean moving through the grass covered sand dunes. Small white butterflies could be seen from by bike vantage point fluttering on the wind.
I came across people here and there hiking along the bike path. The bike path at this point is not the flat path I had been riding but had small sand dune hills to challenge me. As I continued, I saw that the path was soon to end at a restaurant. After parking my bike, I walked up to the restaurant and was surprised by the view of the vast ocean in front and below me. As I stood on this high sand dune overlooking the beach and the ocean I could see a few people who were roaming around the area with their dogs.
The grass was blowing in the wind bending away from the sea. The sand was being blown up off the beach gently hitting my face. The shear vastness of the ocean itself pounding away at the coastline seemed timeless. This feeling of being immensely small when looking at the ocean has always captured my heart.
The ocean has always existed, it will exist long after humans are gone, it grounds me in the now, the today. I stood for a few more moments and then headed back along the same path to the hotel.
I stopped at a fry wagon and sat in the sun eating the Vlaamse (Belgium) fries covered in mayo. This most likely killed any idea I had that I burned calories on my bike ride.
I sat and I soaked up the sun.
When I finished my bike ride I returned to my cave of a hotel room. With the wonderful view of the ocean I was now inspired to write.
What is there to do in Zandvoort?
- Walk on the beach.
- Collect shells
- Fly a kite
- Visit the Zandvoort museum.
- Visit the Circuit Zandvoort Auto Race track.
- Hike and bike in the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland.
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