It's particularly blustery here on the coast of Belgium today. We've enjoyed and appreciated all Ma's scarves and beanies. Can you believe Belgium only has 60km of coastline (with a tram running the length of it)... less than around the bay from France to the Netherlands? And even less across the channel to the UK. Koksijde is a beautiful coastal town. There is a mix of tall new apartments and very unique old coastal homes with cute attics and steep pitched rooves. All the instructions in the apartment, and menus in the cafes are in French, Dutch and German (little English). I guess we are getting prepared for Brussels on Friday (mostly French speaking) and then Paris Saturday. We are just a short bike ride off the northern French coast and Dunkirk here also. I've been reading about the WW1 and the EU in Brussels. History makes much more sense when you can imagine the context!
We are sleeping well with the long dark hours, reading a little, drinking inexpensive coffee at toasty warm cafes (koffie verkeerd -lit. 'Coffee the wrong way' with lots of milk, our preference to the sweetened whipped cream on the Belgian cappuccinos). The cafes are lit up with Christmas lights and friendly to dog owners but we are not spending all our time in them, we are walking and exploring lots. Although we are a little gentler in our schedule than before NYE when we were trying to see a lot (people and places) in the cities. Maybe it's the coastal air but I do feel more rested than when I finished up work! We have hired a couple of bikes and L tells us that if she had an upright bike like that in Melbourne she would happily ride to school.