Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Worst apocalypse ever.

Day 160 21.12.12  Oostende

Wells despite our best intentions we slept in until late morning.  On the plus side the scheduled Mayan apocalypse seems to have passed without too much bother! 

The weather has cleared up too, the rain has stopped and there are even a couple of blue spots in the sky.  We headed into town and first spotted an impressive tall ship on the inlet from the sea.  It was a lovely marina with lots of boats of all sizes.  Further into town we came across Oostende’s main highlight, a large Gothic cathedral.  Sadly a little mucky on the outside but the building is still very attractive.  Inside the very unusual, abstract stained glass windows are very beautiful. 

Onwards through town we spotted several rather cute looking buildings and some large but poorly maintained large statues.  There aren’t really too many sights to see here but it’s a pleasant enough place to be.   There are an awful lot of people with dogs around and the dogs seem to be welcome inside most of the shops which takes a little getting used to!  After a little more exploring we come across an Aldi mini-market and stock up on the local delicacies of beer and waffles before heading back to the van for a late lunch. 

We head back out again after a little while for another look around town.  Everywhere is geared up for Christmas, there a small festive market as well as an out-door ice skating rink in the main square.  The speakers on the streets even play some Xmas tunes, thankfully none of the uber-cheesy ones!  It seems strange to walk from all this festive cheer and then be at the beach minutes later.  There’s a huge stretch of gorgeous sand to enjoy and in the warmer months this is no doubt a much busier town.  At the moment though we seem to be the only tourists!

There’s a definite chill to the air as it gets darker and we head back to the comfort of the van.  Despite our earlier unsuccessful attempts at starting the vans heating, today it has decided to work.  It’s great news and will definitely make our trip more comfortable!  As it’s got dark, lots of other campervans have arrived to join us, all of them Belgian and very swanky.  Van Diesel looks like a scruffy oik in comparison! 

Later in the evening we headed back into town for more exploring.  The tall ship looked lovely lit up with golden Christmas lights and the cathedral too was very beautiful lit up from below.  Aside from some of the temporary bars set up for Christmas, town was very quiet.  We popped into one of the many chip shops for a take away treat before heading back to the van for dinner, a film and bed.   

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