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The North Sea

The North Sea from Our Balcony

Zandvoort is a beach resort on the Dutch coast. My wife and I stayed there for a few days not long ago as our base to experience the North Sea and explore the countryside.

If you go, have dinner at Hugoos Restaurant. We had the best meal there of the week we spent in the Netherlands. Vieux & Coke for my drink, stewed Lamb and calf rib eye, Paiara Chardonnay with dinner, and Italian Love Mousse for dessert in a very pleasant setting. All for 60 euros. I shouldn’t have been surprised to find more normal Dutch food there than in Amsterdam when TripAdvisor lists a Thai place as the #1 favorite in the capital.

A Windmill in Haarlem

We also found the nearby, larger town of Haarlem delightful. Everywhere we walked there gave us the picturesque feel that we had hoped for from Amsterdam but didn’t get. Among Amsterdam’s drawbacks were the über-bicyclists who were thankfully not present in the friendly town of Haarlem.

I imagine that Zandvoort is a crazy beach town in the summer, but by mid-September, it was sleepy and relaxed, buttoning up for fall and winter. Just right for two travelers to recharge after a 20 hour travel day from Oregon’s High Desert.

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