After the alarm of my roommate rang twice there was no point in being super quiet. This girl was really my hostel nightmare but in the end I survived. I got up, had a shower and packed up. No point for me to linger in Bruges when there was so much else to see in Flanders. I made my way to the train station and left my luggage at the locker room. In hindsight I should have brought it with me to Ostend and left it there but apparently sometimes I disconnect from my brain and don’t plan ahead.
Ostend was my destination, I really wanted to see the sea. It was only a 15 minute ride on the train and I can’t miss a chance to walk barefoot in the sand. I had been warned that Ostende was not a charming place and had looked up before hand where I wanted to go from there. De Haan was supposedly beautiful and small. So this was where I set out to.
With the tram from Ostend it was another 15 minute ride and in no time I got off in De Haan. I’m not really sure about the trustworthiness of the Internet because de Haan didn’t look small. But maybe it’s in comparison to the other villages next to the sea? I walked through the village when I came upon an inviting café where I sat down with a coffee and a pastry. The double espresso I had bought at the train station was more like a bucket of brown water than an espresso.
After that there was no stopping me until I arrived at the beach. The sky was still a bit cloudy and there was a cool breeze but people were out already and sunbathing. Absolutely astonishing to me since I wore jeans and a jumper. It was still a bit empty though.
I walked along the beach barefoot and enjoyed the smell and sound of the sea. There were walkways on top the dunes and wooden bridges to cross over to the beach. Eventually the sun came out after a while and my day got so much better. I sat down in one of the dunes to be out of the wind and read for a while. Safe from the wind I could even remove my cardigan. Excellent beach weather, still unbelievable though that people were just in their bathing costumes.
When I walked back to De Haan it was time for lunch and I tried one of the ‘belegde brood’ (sandwich) with fish salad. So good! The baguette was fresh and with a nice crust and the salad inside very tasty! I ate it on the pier looking down on all the sunbathers and swimmers and wondered if people of the north are just tougher than we are (they probably are, look at the Starks! They are all survivors). I had put my toes in and the water was absolutely freezing. The combination of sea and sun left me in a great mood. There is nothing better than smelling the salt in the air.
Later I got myself an organic and 100% Belgian “Australian” ice cream (why is Australia famous for this?) while I walked back to the tram. I still had some way to go that day. So sad to be leaving the beach but other adventures awaited me including a short visit to Ostend while I waited for the train. Here as well as in Bruges there was festival going on that weekend and people were out and about. Yours, Pollybert