One of the perks of Dennis’s new job is that once a fortnight he has Friday off. I foresee many weekend mini-breaks in our future, but for his first Friday off we went to a park in Amsterdam and a beach on the coast with his family.
The park is called Amsterdamse Bos, is technically part of Amstelveen and is right by the airport. It’s also huuuge! We walked a fair way from the car park through a wooded area out to a big open field by the swimming part of the lake and set up our picnic area under the trees by the water. It was very peaceful and pretty.
There was also a little cafe/kiosk where you could hire the kayaks and paddle-boats or buy an ice-cream.
The swimming area was full of kids and the area that is roped off is not too deep so a good place to splash around in, although you can swim further out if you wish. The ducks weren’t too happy about sharing though!
Later in the day we drove north of Amsterdam to IJmuiden to the sea! IJmuiden is where ships leave from to travel to Newcastle in England and it has a very long coastline of beach. It’s been over a year since I have last visited the ocean, the last time I stood on a beach was January 2013 in Bondi, Sydney! Having never lived more than five minutes from a beach for my entire life before moving to London I have definitely been missing the smell of salt water and the sound of waves, so it was lovely that Dennis and his family took me to the ocean! I also liked the fact that I was technically standing in the North Sea.
We found a very cool two-faced sand sculpture that someone had left behind, just before it got devoured by the incoming tide!
We walked along the beach until we came to a dike. I don’t know if you ever heard the children’s story about the little Dutch boy who had to stick his finger in the hole of a Dutch dike to stop the ocean from flooding the country but I always imagined dikes to be like great big stone walls surrounding the country to keep the water out. But they don’t look like that all!