A Lifelong Love Affair – Part 2.

So, we are in Ostend. None of us have ever been here before – we are in a strange city in a strange country where none of us speak the language. Language actually turned out to be less of a problem than we feared. Flemish is evolved from Dutch and is such a difficult language that the Belgians do not expect anyone to learn it. Consequently most people speak some English, and where they don’t we can usually get by with French. 

Having arrived by train and ferry, we had no car with us – so our only way of getting to see the rest of the country was to take a few coach trips. Since we were going to be here for 6 days we decided to take three trips, leaving us three full days in Ostend.  So we booked the trips with the hotel’s concierge (Brussels – full day, Amsterdam – full day, and Ypres – afternoon and evening) then set off to explore Ostend. 

Ostend is a small, compact city and we were able to explore it on foot. It was like exploring another world! We found bars, restaurants, museums and sculptures – and everywhere the inevitable “Frituur”. Initially we though this meant “Fruiterer” but soon realised that Frites are chips. A Frituur is a CHIPPY! And yes – they do put mayonnaise on their chips. 

Ostend is so different from anywhere we had ever been before that it was like looking at the world through fresh eyes. We had beer and chips for lunch, and an evening meal in a seafood restaurant within sight of the fish dock. I think that was the point where I truly fell in love with Belgium. I have uploaded some photos of Ostend into an album called Ostend – 1976.

Next episode – those coach trips. 

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      1. i remember going into a restaurant in 1981 and getting a puzzled look from the waiter and my friends when i asked for mayonnaise to put on my steak and chips

  1. Really sounds like a lovely place. My daughter& her husband flew to Holland once and also Germany but did not get to Belgium . She went to Amsterdam to visit her girlfriend who had married a man from over there and then they went to the England and then to Ireland where they visited a friend of her husband who lived with him and his family and was an exchange student . He lived in Belfast and this was in 1992. I have only been to Ireland and would love to see Scotland but I will not be traveling over seas anymore and wished I had gone to Scotland in 2000 when I went to Ireland but my friend didn’t want to go so we just saw Ireland .

  2. Had a look at your photo gallery of Ostend before responding. What a great trip it must have been, no wonder it was the start of a love affair with Belgium. Looking forward to tales of the coach trips.

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