THE BEACH AT STRANDSLAG 17H | Petten

Rating: 5 out of 5.

For the longest time I believed there was a wide, quiet beach somewhere in the Netherlands that was much closer than the ones in far-away Texel. Considering the hundreds of miles of North Sea coastline there had to be a place aside from Atlantic City-style Scheveningen where a relaxed, introspective walk was possible, followed maybe by a nice coffee someplace along the coast. In all these years it was only on the stunning, near-empty shores of northern Texel, an island a ferry-ride away, where we could take a walk on wide sands without jostling for space with couples, families, and overactive dogs – up until recently. Similar to the feeling of finding El Dorado, we finally found that fabled beach in little-known Petten.

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With the beautiful, morning sun as a backdrop and a light coolness in the air, the scenery was as great as in Texel and, minus the towering cliffs, brought me back to the gorgeous stretch of beach in Cap Blanc Nez in Upper France. As I discovered further, the beach is part of a nature reserve and open to anyone, even in this time of Corona mitigation, another reason why the living standard here is so high. We spent only a few minutes admiring the views and savoring the moment before heading back, satisfied and happy to have found this piece of calm, with no doubt a return trip to happen sometime in the future. No coffee stop happened this time but if numbers are to be believed and a plateau has been reached in this crisis we’re in, much like the views from Petten beach it’s easy to see through the clear horizon when this too shall pass.

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