Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Reflecting on Oostende

It appears I have spent a large part of 2008 reliving my childhood. Not only the trip to Venice, but also my recent day trip from Bruges to Oostende.

As a child we had a short family break in Oostende, I would have been about five at the time. Some of the memories of that trip are still as clear in my mind as if it were yesterday.

I can vividly remember the wide sandy beaches, digging a big hole in the sand, riding up and down the yellow bricked prom in a hired child peddle buggy, avoiding the large streaks of dog mess and trying to avoid dropping off the edge of the prom onto the beach, where it falls beneath the level of the road.

As I sat on the tram going along the prom at Oostende on Monday, I was amazed to still see the same yellow bricked prom, (still streaked with the odd bit of dogs mess), kids still propelling themselves along the front on peddle buggies and the wide sandy beach, (which if it wasn’t the middle of December I’m sure there would have been children digging holes in).

It just leaves one question unanswered.

How the hell did I fail to remember the giant trams rattling past the beach every few minutes. Until reading it in the guidebook I had no idea there was a tram line through Oostende. My parents even confirmed that they took me on it. Aged five it must have been my first experience of a train that ran down the middle of the road, so how did the single largest, nosiest and most obvious part of the holiday escape my memory, but I could still remember the yellow bricks with the dog poo!

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