Written by Vaish. If you want to contact the writer or comment on this article, click here.
I have been looking forward to 2019 since this summer. August was when it dawned on me that 2018 hasn’t anything more to offer. I’m not one for resolutions but, as a dear friend puts it, I’m painfully optimistic (in my defense, he’s acutely cynical). So, naturally, I have been waiting for this year to close just so that I can start a brand new one with a lot of expectations and hopefully, a year wiser to handle all the anti-climaxes better. That said, 2018 has had its charm, I travelled some (as much as I could afford) in and out of The Netherlands. And, decided to document those places that would appeal to a fellow escapist for a weekend getaway before the daily grind begins again (I’m sorry to declare, but there’s no official cure for Monday blues).
If you are a thalassophile and need, at least, a glimpse of a water body to fix your addiction, Texel is the place to go. Dunes, forest, the sun and the sea are what’s on offer at the Texel Islands. Be sure to visit the neighboring town, De Koog. Here, all the roads lead to the beach. Decorated with beautiful seaside restaurants and cafes, you could just sit here all day, with feet in the sand, eyes on the shore and wind in your hair with your escape from reality just a ferry away. A place abandoned by time, Texel is a beauty to behold through all the seasons.
I chanced upon this place by pure happenstance. On a road trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam with a car full of fuel and nowhere particularly to be, some sun for company and a long playlist dallying, we happened to stop here for the view. In a small café across the beach, we sat down for coffee and Dutch pancakes with water stretching out from a few hundred feet across our table. And just like that, our Saturday was made, effortlessly spectacular too. But, before we could break into a rapture, the sun was gone, the clouds were heavy and it poured as if the gods were full of wrath. Nevertheless, I will recommend this beautiful town for all that it had to offer when the day was still young and bright.
Touted as ‘Venice of The Netherlands’, and hence, the most sought after destination for tourists, I wasn’t entirely keen on visiting this town in summer. But, boy am I glad I did a road-trip here! If you don’t mind the crowd and the busy canals, and if you CAN steer a boat, you will love Giethoorn. The beautiful canals fringed with trees and idyllic houses with perfectly mowed lawns seemed too pretty to be real. I couldn’t surmise if those houses were inhabited at all. As serene as it was for a day trip, I wondered, sitting in a café by the canal, just for a brief minute, about how the inhabitants of this fairytale landscape must take to the constant flux of visitors pouring in. And then, my coffee arrived and I was only too happy to forget people and focus on the fantastic view spread in front of me.
Another typical beach town with frigid waters even in summers is definitely what this place is not. A beautiful town just a few miles from one of my favorite cities, The Hague, I love everything about Scheveningen. The beautiful, clean beaches, the very many restaurants that serve fantastic cocktails, the high-spiritedness of the visitors here in summer, the houses that remind me of something pleasant from my past, the breeze of this town makes me feel nostalgic. I will always feel at home here.
If you liked this list and want to plan a trip, the easiest way is through the NS website or by renting a car. There are many more places I’d have liked to add here; I will feature them in the 2019’s edition. Here’s to a new year filled with joy, hope, new destinations, sunny beaches, warm waters and blue, blue skies. Salut!