BELGIAN BEACHES VS DUTCH ONES (30 july 2004)
Why would a Dutch family go all the way to the Belgian coast when their own country has such a long coastline?
Long ago, my family went to the Dutch coastal village of Egmond. Its main advantage was that it was not very far from Amsterdam.
But the charm that Egmond used to have long ago was so much spoiled by bad experiences on the beach that the family decided to avoid the Dutch coast.
Want some examples?
What to think of people taking their dogs to the beach? More than once I found dog turds in the sand.
Or would you be happy with loud radios blaring away close to you? It is true, there are signs that tell you not to bring dogs or radios. But there is no supervision to stop people breaking these rules.
We had little children, so you can imagine we were not too happy when youngsters played football close to them, even after we urgently asked them not to do so.
The beach in Belgium is quite different. In the first place, it looks as if the Belgians have more civilization than the average Dutchman. Just to give an example: recently, I lost a book on my way to the beach in Knokke. In the Netherlands, I would probably have lost the book. The Belgiums laid my book on the roadside. So I found it back easily.
But the Belgians have a different system of managing their beaches. Large parts of the Belgian coast have been privatized. They are subdivided into smaller allotments, where you have to pay for a deckchair or a windscreen.
beach allotment in Blankenberge
But people with dogs and other antisocial figures are kept away from these allotments.
If you are fed up with ill-mannered people on the Dutch coast, I can advise you to shun the Dutch beaches next year and visit Belgium.