Friday, January 26, 2018

Scheveningen, Netherlands: Last Summer's Strolling, Tapas and Lounging

We seem to have been going every summer to Scheveningen in the last few years.

Scheveningen is surely a great place to go for a day out on the beach during the summer months. Especially if you do not plan on swimming.

There are many beach restaurants here, club lounges, pavilions and terraces where one can spend a few hours lazing around. The more than a kilometer promenade also offers an entertaining place to stroll on, and the pier as well which is now under new management has a food court. There are also new attractions added such as the Ferris wheel and the zipline are great options for the sportive lot.

But Scheveningen has more to offer. Go here: Scheveningen

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The Scheveningen promenade going south towards the haven.

Last July I was here in Scheveningen with the Dutchman and the Dutch mother. It was a balmy yet windy day, not really the perfect day to be swimming and lounging on the beach with your bikini. However, that was not the reason why we came here. Ever since the Dutch father left this world, Dutchman and I take the Dutch mother with us on good weather weekends. We would visit places in the Netherlands and nearby.

Scheveningen is a popular destination during the summer so we struck up the idea of bringing the Dutch mother there.

Our plan was nothing much really. We just wanted to take a walk on the promenade and then have some late afternoon snacks at one of the beach clubs. Sounds like a good and easy plan.

We walked the promenade going south which lead us towards the fishing haven. Along the way we saw a beach volleyball competition. It looked like a huge event because there were many volleyball courts drawn on the beach. We decided to stop and sat on the bench. This was just across the beach grounds where the beach volleyball competition was held.

So we watched a few games. We watched for more than half an hour until we have had enough, but we stayed put because we enjoyed sitting there. It is good to have moments like this.

Question: Have you ever tried sitting on a bench, on a warm day, for no reason at all? Just sitting there, watching your surroundings and everyone around you?

My recommendation is to try it. It is good, rather, it is food for the soul to slow down a bit. Most of the times we let the frenzied and unfriendly world captivate us. We revolve around activities, daily chores, stress and work, barely noticing the real (life) world around us. There is more to life than activities, chores and work.

Beach volleyball competition in Scheveningen. I have never been a sporty person. I usually run away when I see the ball coming, haha.

On the far distance, we could see people flying kites. It reminded of our holiday in Corfu, Greece several years ago when Dutchman and I tried flying a kite. It never went up. We were only screaming at each other, so we gave up.

Then we walked back to the busy area on the promenade and ended up going to the Twins Beach Club. They have a nice lounge ambiance and good music, but more importantly, we managed to grab a corner lounge area. We were not really sitting next to the beach but the corner we had was cozy and comfortable. We ordered bitter lemon and cola drinks. For our snacks, we settled for some tapas. Albondigas (Spanish-style meatballs), Nacho chips with tomato salsa and melted cheddar cheese, and warm bread from the oven with tapenade, sour cream, and olive oil.

I really recommend a weekend afternoon like this. In Scheveningen. Just lounging in the beach club with drinks and a little bit of finger food for a few hours. Sit back and think of nothing. Drink up to the 'gezellig' atmosphere. People watch. Enjoy each other's company. It is therapeutic after a long work week. A day or afternoon outing like this does not have to cost a lot of money and it is very relaxing and fulfilling.

Not bad for a view I guess.

Twins Beach Club and our afternoon tapas (below).

Just beside us on the indoor terrace were two mini private events and interestingly they were similar events, with one being a bachelorette (all-female) BBBQ buffet lunch party, and the other, a bachelor/stag (all-male) sit-down lunch party. Both groups did not know each other and I noticed that the girls were much younger than the men. Oh well, it doesn't matter, they were all younger than me and I am sure by 2 decades, haha.

I never had a bachelorette party. I do not want one as well. I see it as a personal achievement to rise above from the pressures of family and society. To make decisions on my own, without any influence from anybody. Making decisions only for myself. To put it simply, I do not need the institution of marriage. It is the 'relationship' that I want and need, and luckily, I have it.

After a few hours of just lounging and enjoying each others company, we were ready for another round of strolling. This time to the northern side of the promenade. We will check out the pier. They were just finishing the installation of a new attraction addition, a big Ferris wheel which opened a weekend later. We did enjoy watching for a while the young adrenalin junkies fly through the zip line and brave the bungee jump.

Adrenaline-fueled attractions in the Pier of Scheveningen: Ferris wheel, Bungee jumping, and Zipline cruising.

When Dutchman was younger he did crazy adventure trips such as bungee jumping in gorges and ravines in Austria. He probably would like to do it again but he is getting old now and lacking the high energy levels. Although I can probably hear him sneer and say, "Well, I've done that." So yeah, do (extreme) adventure trips when you are young to fully enjoy it. As for me, it is not my thing. The only adventure sport I do now is skiing. That's it.

We didn't expect the late snacking to be heavy so I ruled out dinner but the Dutchman and Dutch mother were having cravings for some fatty fries. Just a quick little eat before we have coffee and we go home.

As we walked and looked for a snack bar selling fries, we came upon the end of the promenade, just before reaching Oostduinpark and the Beach pavilions. We noticed that this part of the promenade was not up to the standards. The shops were looking grey and a bit bedraggled with clearly no maintenance service. It was not a good sight at all but the stroll offered a reward. We were able to find a kebab place selling fries.

Having coffee while people watching.

The Kurhaus.

Then we moved on for coffee at a cafe terrace on the Kurhausplein (on the Gevers Deynootplein) in front of the Kurhaus, the symbol of Scheveningen. There was a wedding reception about to start inside the hotel and the guests were arriving slowly, all of them dressed in sharp tuxedos and long beautiful silken gowns. It looks like it is a glamorous event and we were quite happy to watch from the sidelines.

Every now and then one of the glamorously-dressed women came out of the front door to take a shag. I have stopped smoking after I contracted pneumonia during one of my travels a few years back. I was not a real smoker though. I was more like a social smoker who finishes a pack in a month. Nowadays, I avoid smoking (people) like the plague. Well, it is a shame to see a beautifully and elegantly-clad lady behaving like a chimney.

Smoking used to be cool. Nowadays, it is dirty, unhygienic and just crass. #justmyopinion

It is a long day. Time to go home =)

Travel Period: July 2017
Destination: Scheveningen (The Hague), The Netherlands

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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