In photos: Cycling to Zandvoort

"You can cycle to the coast from Amsterdam... It doesn't take long," Somebody told us last year. They were talking about getting yourself to Zandvoort a part-cute traditional seaside town, part-well-developed seaside resort on the North Sea, approximately 35 kilometres from the centre of Amsterdam.

No, it doesn't take long. But it did take a surprising amount of strength and stamina. Or at least it did for us.
The head winds we encountered almost from the outset whirled into a frenzy as we passed the flat fields surrounding Schiphol airport. Let's just say I'll remember them but not fondly.

Perhaps it was because we embarked on this "Away from Amsterdam" adventure on our second-hand no-gears, back-braking bikes that it was so hard. Or perhaps it's because we're relatively unfit.

Most likely both. But we arrived with wobbly legs and flailing senses of humour. Our reward for the effort was an angry, grey North Sea and a whipping wind that urged us to hide inside. So we did, with beer and bitterballen.

The weather did it's best to hide Zandvoort's charms but somewhere amidst the stark concrete seafront tower blocks there were bursts of character, like the European Sandsculpture festival being hosted there and the oh so brave kite surfers bouncing on the rolling waves. 

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before putting down some roots with her Australian partner and having a baby boy in July 2015. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her son around Amsterdam.
Find Frankie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

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