Monday, August 07, 2006

bean bag : Beach Bummiing

Fancy a sunny day out at the beach? Well, if you’re in Amsterdam, you don’t have to travel out to Zandvoort or Bloemendaal any more. Amsterdam is quite well-off in the trendy beaches sector. Beaches like Blijburg, Amsterdam Plage and the brand-new Strand West are all in Amsterdam itself. Apart from beaches Amsterdam also has other amazing places where one can kick back and sunbathe during summer without getting so much as a grain of sand between the toes.

Blijburg aan Zee is a sandy beach on the new IJburg island complex. Not only does Blijburg have a pleasant beach, it also has a beach café with a bar and an open kitchen. Every Sunday there is a performance by a DJ or a country band. It is on the new islands in the East of Amsterdam. Only this beach allows swimming officially allowed. One can find a café or a restaurant on the beach itself.

Amsterdam’s newest stylist city beach is Strand West. It’s a wide sandy beach with a panoramic view over the waters of the IJ. One can laze in a hammock or beanbag, drink a cocktail, eat tapas or play beach volleyball with friends and colleagues. Children can ride on the giant stride or enjoy the view from the mini big wheel. When the weather is good, there are barbecues or paellas.

Last year the Amsterdam Plage beach at Stenen Hoofd, to the west of the Central Station, was a huge success. This beach, right next to the Silodam, was laid on the age-old dike that projects far out into the IJ. It is smaller than Strand West but more popular because of its intimacy.

Another beach is Strand-Zuid, located at the back of the RAI Congress Centre, just south of the centre of Amsterdam. It has 2,000 m2 of sand, chairs, terraces, a beach volleyball field and there are showers. One can go there by a boat also, as there are places to moor your boat.

Towering above Amsterdam is the ‘Green Boat’ designed by architect Renzo Piano. It’s not a beach in the classical sense of the word, but one look at the palm trees, the large sandpit, the waterfall and the splashing Waterwonder and one can imagine that one is in the South of France, Spain or some other holiday destination.

By Rahul Viz


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