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As far as the eye can see

the Fat Magritte statue

James Ensor, 1860 - 1949

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OOSTENDE ..... I have to admit, I was shocked the first time I saw the Belgian coast. It took me years to return. It isn't the Carribean (no, it's the cold North Sea) or the beaches of Asia (not a palm tree on a secluded beach in site). But this 68 kilometer stretch is where Belgians come to play. It is extremely popular and housing is outrageously expensive. Everyone wants a flat or villa on the coast.

It must have been beautiful in its day. There are remarkable houses throughout the city, but most were torn down to make way for ugly, but profitable, apartments. And, instead of palm trees, it is apartment buildings you see lining the beach as far as the eye can see.

Oostende offers a beautiful promenade along the beach, as well as shopping, seafood, and lovely cafes.

I viewed an exibit by Ensor, Oostende's most famous son. He created scenes inspired by the sea. However, he's most famous for the colorful (and slighly evil looking) masks people wore. I only got this photo of his portrait before I was told not to take any more.

 

Copyright 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.