Exploring Ostende

In need of coffee and a little break from our journey on the coast tram we clambered off in Ostende. Just a quick stop was my plan, nothing much to see here, it would be a bland and nondescript port town. Wrong on all counts. We spent more than half a day at this remarkably busy and remarkably pleasant city on the sea. No-one was more surprised than me to be seduced by the delights of Ostende.

08.04.02 - Ostende

Apparently once the holiday destination of choice for King Leopold I and II, the whole place was flattened during World War 2 but I still thought it retained something of the feeling of a grand old seaside resort. Marvin Gaye seemed to like it too – he composed Sexual Healing in Ostende while visiting in 1981.

08.04.04 - Ostende

Not too many old buildings around but it was the beach and the promenade that grabbed us. The seafront is lively and that beach stretches for 9km. We spent an age strolling along the King Albert I promenade, full of children and adults enjoying themselves and taking in the sea air. The beach is golden and pristine and some curious artwork grabbed our attention.

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Yachts in the harbour, museums aplenty but as soon as Son spotted some fountains on the promenade he was off. Swimming costume donned, we bought a cheap bucket and spade nearby and a great time was had by all. Husband and I relaxed in the sun, Son got soaked with a host of other children splashing and enjoying the water.

08.04.06 - Ostende

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Next stop was the Sand Festival – we followed the signs and found sand sculptures with a Disney theme. Superb all of them but Cinderella’s Castle got my vote. We wandered, looking and taking in these masterpieces before finding a very nice little bar right in the centre. Trampolines nearby meant we could linger over our beverages while Son bounced. Win win.

08.04.28 - Ostende

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Fish and chips from a little stall on the seafront – believe me they were probably the best I’ve ever tasted – and a perfect end to a perfect day in Ostende. Dodging the feisty seagulls trying to pinch our fish – now that was another matter.

08.04.22 - Ostende

47 thoughts on “Exploring Ostende

  1. What a very cool place. Love the interesting artwork and how lucky for you that you were able to be there during the sandcastle competition. Interesting bit of information about Marvin Gaye. I wonder what it was that inspired him to write that song there. Thanks again, Joy. Have a great weekend…:)

    • We lucked out on all counts George, first the weather was glorious, secondly those Disney sandcastles were a big hit with the whole family and yes, those orange arty things on the promenade were fun, so was climbing on them and trying to stay on…. quite the feat I can assure you!! No idea what inspiration Marvin took from Ostende – will have to try and find that out!! Hope all is well with your little grandson and your weekend is a good one too George.

  2. Glad to read you went to Ostend! You’re becoming a real expert of Belgium :)! The artwork is made by Arne Quinze, a Belgian artist.

  3. Those photos of you on the squashed tomatoes are brilliant! There’s nothing like a good stroll along a beach promenade. You had the work from splash fun to sand art. What a great day out – I think I’d love Ostende!

    • Oh I think you’d love it too!! We just had the best fun here and completely unexpected so that made it even better. The sand art was just amazing but our son really enjoyed that promenade and all its attractions. I’m sure your little one would too!!

  4. Lovely post and photos Joy! Some friends were telling me what a great place Ostende is recently (for some reason the Belgian coast came up in conversation!). The fish and chips plus the mussels were the particular favourites of our friends! Looks as if the beach is quite a bit more spacious than the one at Knokke too and how lucky to find the Sand Festival taking place with a Disney theme too! I love the orange artwork and the weather looks superb. Interesting info about Marvin Gaye – that would make a good trivia question (Monsieur LC is engaged in a permanent trivia contest with a work colleague so this might be one to add to his questions list!). All in all looks like the perfect family day out πŸ™‚ Hope you have a great weekend too!

  5. So sunny over there! For how long where you in Belgium (or are you still there?) Doing some proper exploring clearly. I’ll be sure to remember your blog for tips when we’ll return there πŸ™‚

    • We were lucky with the weather, most days it was sunny but we did have the odd cloudy one and on our last day torrential rain – still…. We were there for 10 days which was perfect for us, time to chill but also get to do plenty of sightseeing. The great thing about Belgium is nowhere is too far away to drive!!

    • Disney sand castles – you just can’t beat that can you Pam!! When I think of what we can create on the beach and then look at these, just incredible. We just had the most lovely day out at this place.

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