The Anonymous Widower

Riding The Coast Tram

The Coast Tram in Belgium, runs along the whole Belgian coast and is the longest tram line in the world.

I took these pictures, as I rode it from Blankenberg station to De Panne station and then back to Oostende station.

From Blankenberge To Oostende

At Oostende station we changed trams before moving on to De Panne.

From Oostende To De Panne

There is a lot to see on this part of the route.

From De Panne To Oostende

Would you really want to call a theme Park Plopsaland?

I didn’t see anybody in the sea!

Ridership On The Coastal Tram

Despite the windy weather, the extended intervals due to the strike, the ridership was good.

There were people of all ages from schoolchildren, through teenagers and those going to work, to quite a few pensioners.

And like me, not all were from Belgium.

Wikipedia says this under Characteristics.

The service makes 69 stops along the 68 km line, with a tram running every 10 min during the peak summer months (every 20 min in the winter months), and it is used by over 3 million passengers. The service has recently been made more accessible by new low-floor centre sections to existing vehicles and a few new HermeLijn low-floor trams.

Given, that work was proceeding in several places, I feel the Coastal Tram has a sound future.

 

 

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 5 Comments

Blankenberg Station

The Coast Tram connects to the Belgian Railway network at Knokke, Blankenberge, Oostende and De Panne.

These pictures show Blankenberge station and tram interchange.

Blankenberge station and the tram stop are undergoing a degree of rebuilding and landscaping.

Note.

  • The trams are metre gauge.
  • They were a bit thin on the ground, as there was a strike.
  • Many of the trams were covered in advertising, which made it difficult to see out.

I had taken a train from Bruges to Blankenberge.

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

In Bruges

I thought that I was passing the city, I should take a pit-stop in Bruges, with perhaps a gluten-free breakfast.

If you go to most cities in Germany, there is always a handy tourist office at the station.

As I didn’t know the city, I needed information on how to get from the station to the centre, which was a twenty minute walk.

If it hadn’t been for a helpful local man, who spoke impeccable English, I wouldn’t have found out that the buses were convenient, but you had to buy the tickets from the paper shop inside the station.

In addition, there wasn’t any visible staff at the station.

How tourist-friendly is that for a welcome to one of the most important sites in Belgium?

My gluten-free breakfast wasn’t very good either!

It came with ordinary bread and only the tea was good.

My argument is that if you advertise gluten-free, then make sure you can do it properly.

Finding a bus back to the station wasn’t easy to cap it all.

Conclusion

Don’t expect to turn up in Bruges on a train and spend a pleasant hour or two before moving on.

Unlike many cities in The Netherlands, Germany and Italy, the information lets you down.

 

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Antwerp To Bruges

I took these pictures as my suburban train went between Antwerp Centraal and Bruges stations.

Note.

  • The number of tall houses close to the railway.
  • My train eventually went to Ostend.
  • The route when through the town of Beveren, which gives its name to the Beveren rabbit.
  • Compared to a UK route, like Ipswich to Cambridge, the route wasn’t busy.

When travelling by train in Belgium, the station names are sometimes different on the displays and your tickets, due to Belgium’s languages.

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment