It's official! My book has a place on the web.
The link to view the cover, read the notes on the author,
read a few excerpts and purchase, if that pleases you is
Trafford Publishing


As would become the norm for my journey, my first look at Oostende was from the inside of a train station. I arrived in Oostende on a train packed like a sardine can. It was a Saturday and there was beach to be found. So it seemed that everyone in Belgium was heading for the shore. More on this later.
The next 9000 miles or so of my journey would primarily be covered on trains. I literally went coast to coast across two continents, from the North Sea to the Sea of Japan.
But I had an angel waiting for me in Oostende. There is a large plaza in front of the station and I walked around for a few minutes until Linda came to my rescue. The first things I encountered were the sculpture below, the Old Harbor and Saint Peter and Saint Paul's Church. Then it was off to the beach.

Station Oostende

La veille dame et les 3 dames de fer
Oostende railway station. This building in eclectic style with Baroque elements was constructed in 1910-1913.
The sculpture of the four women in loosely translated into "The watchful lady and the three iron women". It is also known as the woman of the station or "La dame de la gare".

Unidentified building near the Harbor

Old Harbor with a tall ship at dock

Saints Peter and Paul Church

The Peperbusse
Saint Peter and Saint Paul's church. This neo-gothic church, built in 1904-1905, was designed by architect Delacenserie.The use of sandstone sets it apart from other churches in the Province of West-Flanders in that are mostly entirely built with bricks.
Next to the church stands an older tower, a remainder of the former church from the 18th century that stood here before it was destroyed by fire in 1896. The first stone of the tower itself was laid on July 20th, 1478. The tower now houses a small museum.

Me and the North Sea

Floaters and surf

Sailors and gulls

Red sails in the sunshine

Another sailor, but the guys in the lower part of the photo are looking at the items in the other photo. Neither Linda or I had any idea of what they were. They were hard as rock, but seemed to have rings like one would find in a tree or shrub. They also looked like they were covered with barnacles. They are about 6 to 8 inches high, as if cut by some giant mower, and from one to three inches in diameter. As you can see from the first photo they ran all along the jetty. Still a mystery to me. Anyone seeing this have any idea? (email link below)

And as on any beach

The gulls were in abundance



And a flower clock

A tug boat at dock
This is probably the fourth flower clock I've come across in my travels. My first was in Frankfurt, KY. I didn't even know they existed before that, and now I find them around the world.

A couple of sculptures I found in the Oostende area. The first I've no idea of it's meaning. There are birds flying around and a ball and egg inside with a representation of the world (?) on top.
The second is easier. This is "Dancing Matilda". She stands on the median along a large highway. Sort of like the "Pissing Boy" in Brussels. Which I missed by the way.

Seaman's Memorial

The Oostende light
This seaman's memorial shows the watchfulness of the seaman over his domain, while the other mourns for those lost at sea.

The Oostende skyline and ocean front at dusk

While sitting on the pier, we were treated to this



Glorious sunset

And beautiful evening sky
And day is done. It was a great day, full of sun and salt air. What better way to end it but with a sky like this?
Well, it wasn't over for me.
Above I said the train I took to Oostende was packed like sardines. Well, my train left in the morning, but all the hotels were full. So I returned to the train station to see about getting an earlier train. Linda had returned home by now, and the train station was locked. And my backpack was in a locker inside. So me and a few other stranded souls waited outside the train station all night. The sign said it opened at 5:00 AM, well that was true for every day except Sunday, which it now was. It wouldn't open until 7:00 AM today. I did get my train and headed back to Antwerpen to meet my friends from the Netherlands.

Music is "Vlaanderen"
by Jean Luc Bertel

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