we had the cultural tip of eating
of how to shop on the market
now we missed this very important one!
You can't make a walk unless you take some refreshment.
What about having a drink on the sidewalk of the beach with a lovely view on the sea?
aaah... guess you are right,
this ain't the view on the sea!
Helga, Filip and Ron!
well... still a nice view no? You don't hear me complaining! '-)
Visit the travelogues!
It seems to be a habbit at Oostende that the host has to take care the guest are getting fed ! (don't mix with getting fed up, that is something different)
Good for Patricia we were 'only' with 25! it would have taken the whole afternoon before she got finnished and she would have a stiff arm the rest of the coming week!
Strange Oostende's habbit !
Eating goes with meeting !
And it is one of our most famous cultural occupations!
Visit the resto-section!
mmmmm eating related? I better put it again in the cultural tips !
Along the kay, you can find a lot of these little markets who sell all kinds of fish.
The sport of it is to ask allways the one at the bottom at the last row '-)
You can see this Oostende's lady already is quite experienced.
Just practice enough and you will get there!
For the more advanced you have this variation:
Follow previous instruction, then if the guy finally gets to the one you pointed at, tell him you changed your mind ...
Visit the travelogues!
Always go here first and your stay will be a piece of cake!!!! and as nice........and please, don't forget to send me a piece........postcards are so welcome at
van kleffenslaan 77
4334 HC middelburg
Every year at the beginning of January the newyearsdive takes place at the beach of Oostende. In recent years it has become a big media event. Its also broadcasted live on television, Kanaal2, www.kanaal2.be. About 12000 people are going to Oostende on that day.
Whilst there are plenty of places to buy postcards, and all of them also sell stamps, I was particularly impressed by Huis Vierstraete on the square in front of the Sint Petrus en Paulus church. The shop is mainly a tobacconist and upmarket booze emporium which I suppose is the reason why it caught my eye in the first place and then I noticed that it was also a newsagents, lotto ticket seller and has a couple of racks of postcards.
Even though I was only buying a single card and one stamp the woman serving was welcoming and friendly, and quite attractive too, and when I told her I didn't need a bag as I was going to write it now she happily peeled the backing off the stamp for me and stuck it on.
It's these little things that make a trip that bit extra special - people making places - and all it cost me was 1.60 Euro.
If having bought your postcard from Huis Vierstraete on the square in front of the St Peter and Paul church you then want somewhere to sit and write it, ideally with a beer, I can heartily recommend the Cliff Taverne next door. This is a laid-back little bar with very much a local feel to it. The beer was cold, relatively cheap and the service prompt and friendly. With the sun out on the terrace and a gentle buzz of local conversation I not only had my postcard-writing beer but one for the road as well.
If you've bought your postcard at Huis Vierstaete, written it at Taverne The Cliff then the easiest place to post it is at the railway station. There are several post boxes here, easily identifiable being red with the stylised white bugle of the Belgian Post. The time of the next collection is posted on the front, below the slot, and I must have caught mine at a perfect moment because it arrived at its destination on the day I got home.
Obviously if you're not near the station you'll have to find a different post box but there are plenty around.
One thing that's immediately apparent when visiting Oostende is how clean and tidy the town is even when you get a little off the beaten path and explore the various side streets. As well as being neat and well-kept there's plenty of public artworks scattered around and even the concrete seafront promenades are brightened up with well cared for shrub and floral displays.
Much of this seems to be looked after by the town council (or whatever it's called here) and I noticed the council employees restocking the planters on the harbour front with greenery last time I was here.
Not only does the council do its bit but also all the shops, bars and restaurants present themselves well and I failed to find anywhere looking down-at-heel.
The modern Oostende markets itself as a year-round tourist destination, not just a summer seaside resort. As such there's always something happening and at the time of writing, October 2012, the main market squares are host to a fun fair, they are planning a Halloween event and the Atlantic Wall has been turned into an "Open Air Museum" with various installations dotted around.
The tourist office has details of all these plus forthcoming events, concerts and other things to do. It also provides an accommodation booking service, public transport information, the usual freebie leaflets and much, much more. The office is located on Monacoplein, close to the public transport intersection of Marie-Joseplein.
Website is well worth a visit too:
This is a sculpture in the Maria Henrikapark by the African-American artist Michael Ray Charles. It is part of his "Forever Free" series which examines racial stereotypes and attitudes and is cynically entitled "Three Graces".
The obvious image is of course three Klu Klux Klan members and the fact that he has stylised them as bullets adds to their menace.
This was exhibited at Zeebrugge in 2006 as part of the Beaufort02 art exhibition and was moved to the Maria Hendrikapark afterwards as its permanent home.
Not something I've had to use here, yet, but always useful to know. There's a laundrette (wassalon) at Langestraat 54, part of the Ter Weide apartments building, which is open 7 days a week from 0800 until 2200. I've no idea what it costs but it looks like it has everything required for casual use.
Langestraat is the street than runs from the Fisherman's Quai down to the Kursal Casino and there's a couple of suitable pubs and cafes in the area to hang whilst the machines do the work.
In the month of april, locals can bid in a kind of auction for the rent of a small beach cabine. It costs up to 1000 euro's (and more). Some people even have a cooking device so that they don't have to leave the beach at noon. Sometimes young travellers sleep between the cabines, although it's forbidden.
Some 20 years ago a group of friends found it a pity that Christmas happens in wintertime, so you can't celebrate outside. They started celebrating Christmas in mid-august (around the 15th), complete with christmas trees and lights. Since that date every year close to the St Petrus and Paulusschurch, there is the 'Paulusfeesten'. A very local festival (7 days) where fun is at the center of everybodys thoughts. Sometimes people scarcely see their beds during this period.