BLIJBURG BEACH

I felt sand on my pale feet for the first time in years this Sunday.

With the record-setting warm weather continuing on, the flip flops finally came out of hiding for a trip to the beach. We didn’t have to go too far this time – no trips to uncrowded Texel or the brown sand beaches along the west coast. Evidently Amsterdam has its one and only beach on the far eastern part of the city, one that doesn’t face the sea but rather the IJsselmeer, a man-made freshwater lake carved out from the North Sea. In all my years the only beach I thought existed in the city was this fake beach close to the convention center so when Teko said there was a real one I had to see it for myself.

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To call it a poor-man’s beach would be a disservice since there really aren’t any poor people here to speak of – except maybe refugees, but what are the chances they’d be hanging out by the beach in summer. Or maybe the Germans who trek all this way to find some sand and sea. The quality of the sand was suspect I wouldn’t tread barefoot through it, and the surrounding views can be best described as industrial. If there was any consolation to going it was the strong mojito and pretty good Blijburger at the nearby restaurant – the mojito was spot on and the burger disappeared soon after hitting our table. We also had a terrific, semi-private table with a beach view, with a vibe that was relaxed and casual and just the right touch. Blij actually means happy in Dutch and as long as a Blijburg cocktail is on the menu, Sundays in Blijburg Beach will always be beautiful and sunny.

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