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Jun 5, 2012

Zandvoort, Holland: A Quiet Town by the Sea

I always feel luckiest when I stumble upon a hidden gem that turns out to be a quirky bright spot amongst our European adventures. This quiet beach town of Zandvoort, Holland was just the ticket to calm my cravings for a taste of the sea. I honestly don't know which was harder...moving to a foreign country or moving away from the beach. For 3 years of my life, I was spoiled. Sun-kissed, sand-drenched, and spoiled. Living 1,000 miles away from the ocean is like ripping a newborn child away from its mother. Dramatic? Maybe. But I've got salt water in my veins, people. When the sea calls, I come running.

 During the summer months I'm sure this place would be packed, but the last chill of March still lingered, keeping away the crowds. It may have been too cold to enjoy all the spoils of the coast, but it's amazing how a 5 minute stroll along the beach, no matter the weather, can awaken your soul and refresh your spirit. And I must give credit where credit is due...thanks to a glowing recommendation from a good friend, this little sea retreat came to be. It was the perfect reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam.

We arrived in Zandvoort around 6pm and after getting our bearings and breathing in the salty sea air, we made our way into the heart of the town in search of something to settle our growling tummies. We meandered around for an hour or so before stumbling upon Zara's. Greek food in Holland? Why the heck not!

We drank Greek wine, tried some interesting cocktails, and sampled the traditional soulvaki, freshly baked pitas, and tzatziki sauce. Amazingly good. Our waitress was so thrilled to have Americans dining at her table (apparently we're a rarity in Zandvoort) that she offered us free shots of Ouzo, a Greek anise-flavored aperitif. Although none of us were too keen on the Ouzo, it was still a nice gesture and added character to our dining experience. After getting our fill, we made our way down the street to a small Irish pub for a few rounds of pool and a couple night caps!

Next up...our day in Amsterdam!


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