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.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in