Monday, 28 August 2006

One night by the North Sea...

JK: In a desperate attempt to run away from the endless cloud and rain (yes, the weather is a recurring theme of conversation lately, but by god it has been hideous), we hopped on a train to the North Sea coastal town of Oostende. Miraculously, by the time we arrived the sky had opened up and we got to enjoy the Belgian coast with our friend the sun.

BUT, of course, there was a catch: so enthralled were we with being on the coast, that we missed the last train back to Brussels (well, that is my version; Mélanie "claims" I misread the train schedule... ;) ).

MK: I interject here to say he did indeed read the train schedule wrong but too manly to admit it.

JK: Stuck in Oostende for the night, and on a very tight budget (you get paid at the beginning of the month in Europe, hence end of month spending becomes rather tricky), we had the choice of either pulling an all-nighter and catching the first train back to Brussels, or else finding some sort of cheap room. With the youth hostel closed (it was already midnight), and every hotel either booked or far too expensive, we finally stumbled upon a "seniors' bar" -- i.e. a bar full of extremely old folk dancing to Flemish gigs -- that advertised cheap rooms for the night.

We got the room, and after sheepishly trudging through a group of partying octagenarians, settled in. The building lacked a shower for guests (presumably showers at the nearby beach could be used -- thanks for the convenience!), the tap in the bedroom spurted out a few drops of water and the walls could have been made from paper maché, but at least the sheets looked clean!

Fortunately, a superb beer bar was located directly across the street. It provided the perfect relief from our misfortune and an opportunity for me to go hog-wild tasting the variety of glory on offer (La Chouffe on tap! Bink Blonde, etc) while Mélanie daintily sipped chilled jenever. What a peculiar weekend adventure!

To see the photos, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Now that is a story. See only in Europe can you pull something like that off. Yes the land of trains is a beautiful place, regardless of the weather sometimes. Still I remember Oostende being quite uneventful so if you can find any nitch where you can have a good time exploit it my friend. Legendary, Congrats on Greece on beating the US and getting a silver in the World basketball championship last week.