torstai 23. elokuuta 2012

magical oostende

I didn't plan much about this trip to Oostende, didn't know what to see, expect and where to go. In all the other cities I took use-it maps with me and planned some places ahead. I just knew that Oostende is a town at the sea and it is known for casinos and is popular in summer time as a sea resort for Belgians and also for some Germans. You can reach it in 15 minutes by train, when coming from Brugge.


I just walked from the train station and tried to find a tourist info. I got a map and asked where is any vegetarian restaurant and if there are any art house cinemas. Idea of cinema was quickly forgotten, as I wanted to spend more time exploring Oostende. I headed to the restaurant, where a very tasty lunch was served. When I wanted to find a toilet (which was on the ground floor), I saw all the 3 floors upstairs with all the rooms, at least I saw one real Belgian home :) The owners live in the same house with their restaurant and I liked the idea of having everything under the same roof, this is very handy.

Full and happy I was ready to see Oostende. Near the restaurant there was a garden and I was sure it is pretty and interesting, but didn't have enough time to see everything, so I headed to the tram in order to get to the fort Napoleon. Belgian coast tram is an interesting thing, it is 68 km long and is the longest tram line in the world. It goes through the whole coast from French to Dutch borders with stops in coastal towns and the ride takes around 2,5 hours. This time I just traveled inside Oostende to the fort Napoleon and I wanted to finally see the sea, because I heard it since I've arrived and I was actually excited. I love water. Lake, river, sea....whatever. In Tampere and in Finland, in general, you see water everywhere and I kinda missed it in Hasselt, so it was great to see sea :D after a long time. I just turned on Coldplay and enjoyed it, I felt very happy

these wooden constructions reminded me of home-home in Karelia, Russia

coast tram ways
time for coldplay

After I was frozen but still happy,  I visited fort Napoleon. It is a fortress that wasn't actually used as it was meant to be used and now it is a museum. It was surprisingly interesting, because of the individual audio instructions: you just walk around and listen to history and several stories about the fortress on different marked spots.

one way out

I liked the place and came back to the centre in order to go along the pier, which was the reason to come to Oostende, as I saw pictures of it. It is not that special, I just always wanted to see a long pier by myself, not only in movies or on pictures. Despite the weather and wind I was really happy and satisfied with my trip to Oostende. I wish I could come back some day :)


my dream....someday, let's sail away <3

cheeseballs, cocoa and sea view
 This is how I spent my days in Brugge and Oostende. It was the greatest trip during my exchange period, along with trip to Leuven. Now, that I'm remembering all these things, it just makes me wanna go back or at least travel again. Next post would be about Brussels, again :D

last evening in Brugge, after this - straight to Brussels

keskiviikko 22. elokuuta 2012

2,5 brugge

One day I just decided it would be great to "live" in Brugge, even for couple of days, to feel the atmosphere, to walk, photgraph and do whatever I want to. It's great to travel alone (not for a long time, though). I saw a lot, went twice to art house movies, took a boat ride around the canals, did some shopping, got cold, ate cupcakes, met great people, ate indian food, drank mint tea. After this exchange in Belgium, mint tea is my favourite, especially with fresh mint.

The weather was most fully awful, not a surprise....All in all it was a great journey and Brugge is truthfully a very beautiful city and I fell in love with it's canals most of all. Now I dream of having an apartment on a canal with a place where swans and ducks could come and enjoy their living in a "northern Venice". While staying in Brugge, I visited Oostende, which is at the seaside, but it is a different story :) Here are some pictures from Brugge

swans and tourists are everywhere

foggy belfry tower

and real people live in these cute houses


boat ride around brugge

every tourist wants to be that dog - relax with a view on the canal

mint tea with orange syrup in the indian restaurant