The beach town of Ostend isn't necessarily somewhere you would go for it's exciting pace nor is it a beach town to soak up the heat of summer as the average is more warm than hot.
But stepping off the train and walking down the shop laden street down to the shoreline, the appeal of this delightful seaside town was evident immediately.
A little over an hour from Brussels and approximately 15 minutes from Bruges this 'city by the sea' is worth a stop while in the land of beer and waffles.
The city was established here on the Belgian coast in 1395 and has held it's position as a vital harbor throughout history, although this also proved a problem due to being regularly ransacked by conquering armies that landed on it's shoreline.
Ostend's charm has attracted a variety of well-known names throughout it's history and it's not hard to see why. Marvin Gaye even made his home there while healing himself of his demons and wrote the now infamous 'Sexual Healing' during his stay, keeping the video shoot local too. The lapping North Sea shore and wide beach are calming while it's streets are filled with an array of people exhibiting an easy atmosphere.
The day I visited it was very much a palette of gray's, but this historical beach city felt comfortable and the few souls enjoying the landscape clearly all relished their location.
Unlike historical Bruge, this location felt fresher and the atmosphere was evident amongst the few souls walking the sand and promenade alongside me.
So if you have a free afternoon or day during your time in Belgium than truly try and visit this 'city by the sea' as it's a delightful spot that I was so glad I made the time for.
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