Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Coast

An hour's drive takes us to Knokke-Heist, a group of 5 Hamptonish seaside village resorts along the 63km stretch of beach coast along the North Sea. It is the preferred summer destination for well heeled Belgians. Many of Hubby's Aalst colleagues boast second homes here; leave for "the Coast" every chance they get. And, again according to Hubby, Knokke is home to THE minimally-invasive cardiac surgeon in Belgium (aka the Baron, a title bestowed for being King Albert II's personal heart surgeon). His Porsche enables him to get to the hospital from home in less than 35 minutes.

Our visit, this time of year, was more about mussels and luxe shopping than about the beach. On first impression, the concrete beachside condos clash with the sand dune and sea views. But if you turn your back to the ugly real-estate, the beach itself is beautiful. Summer weather elevating this urbane resort from beautiful to ideal. Edouard found a battery-operated 4-wheeler just his size in a rental shop. Delighted, he zipped around the boardwalk. I found my luxe shopping, and pretty villas in Het Zoute, the northernmost village. Delighted, I bagged a new Burberry trench. Hubby found our repeat weekend summer day-trip destination. Delighted, he drove his family to Ostend for mussels.

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