The beach in Oostende!
Last weekend the weather rocketed into the 30s and we all were left in the sunny capital of Brussels lathering on sun cream and eating anything cold we could get our hands on. I absolutely love when the weather gets warm, but given my astoundingly delicate skin (sign of a true Irish person) I really can’t handle it. I love the sun, it just doesn’t love me.
Remember the Portugal blogs? Remember the mosquito bites and sun cream diaries? Well I wasn’t going to let it happen twice. I came to Brussels massively prepared. I absolutely caked myself in factor 50 (yes, entirely necessary) the entire weekend, especially as we mainly spent the entire thing outdoors. And no, I didn’t get even the slightest bit sunburnt, so success!
We decided, since it was a long weekend, to head to the beach in Oostende on Saturday, visit the Moroccan markets at Brussels-Midi station on Sunday and join in the Belgian Independence Day celebrations on Monday! Fireworks included. But more on that in a different post.
Refreshing post-beach drinks
After arriving at the beach, we threw down our towels and headed straight for the water. The place was packed but since the beach stretched for miles, there was more than enough space to keep us all happy.
It’d been quite a while since I’d been at a beach in wonderful weather. Well over a year at least! We made a picnic and took the train out to Oostende which was about an hour outside the capital. Train tickets at the weekend are half price, so we figured it’d be foolish not to exploit such an offer.
I couldn’t possibly have been any more relaxed. Our friend Marija mentioned that Oostende was the Belgian sun spot for little family getaways and I could easily see why. The place was full of nice little cafes, shops and restaurants too – they lined themselves all up along the beach side just to be that little bit extra convenient for tourists like ourselves to be tempted in for a drink or two. And it worked. We left the beach, had some beers and wine and grabbed a late train back to Brussels. We passed through Bruges on the way and back – I’m definitely heading there before I leave. It was like another small glimpse into Belgium that we still need to experience!
While we were in Oostende, we also happened to stumble across a music festival happening right at the beach front. Stages and barriers took over a corner of the beach and music could be heard by all beachgoers whether they wanted that added element to their seaside trip or not. Personally, I liked it. I didn’t know any of the artists playing, but it gave a nice buzz to the place.
Overall, Oostende is worth visiting if you really need a beach trip. That’s it really. There’s some lovely fish markets (I’m told) in the place too, but like all seaside towns, it’s quiet enough once the sun moves off.
Anyway, I fully got my beach fix and so I’m happy!