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Ostend, Belguim was a quick 2 night stopover on our way to Amsterdam.
It had a huge beach and a large esplanade with some cool orange art features.
It was empty of people and would be one of those places that come alive in summer.
We did a day trip to the nearby gorgeous city of Bruges.
This is a cool city centred around a couple of big plazas, lots of canals and pretty photo
... island we realised we were going to have to dig deep, it was 7:10pm and we still had two more of these flood barriers to go before we might find some food and accommodation. We headed off, we were both quite tired at this stage, and our speed was dropping quickly as we kept pushing into the wind. 15km/h... 12km/h... 10km/h... It looked like we were climbing too, but that could have been an illusion. We eventually got past all the flood barriers, and ...
... and hand out soup (delicious! Tomato and meatball), cookies, waffles, coffee, tea, Coke, water and “holy water” – essentially moonshine. I had just enough time for a cup of hot soup and a glass of holy water, and we were at it again.
The walking was quite pleasant, and I was able to keep a decent pace, trying to keep myself just behind the military contingent and ahead of the Belgian man dressed in a 1940s Canadian uniform ...
... given there was so much coast line we should head for one to stay the night. We found a lovely little place near the harbour and had a nice little cycle around. We also spotted our first and second windmill today, so they do really exist, and they are much bigger than I thought. So all in all a super day in Holland, what a great country to end our trip in :)
... which was used in the Middle Ages to care for sick pilgrims. The oldest bridge dates back to the 15th century and is still in use today. We saw the city's smallest window, a tiny opening high up on the wall, and heard that there were many bricked up window spaces in Bruges due to the window tax. Residents had to pay tax for every window they had in their homes, so rich people had lots of windows and the poor didn't. If the tax couldn't be paid, ...