From Poperinge, it isn't too far to De Panne, at the western end of Belgium's straight coastline, which is about 67 kilometers long.
I am not a great fan of the Belgian coast, generally finding it too built up with ugly apartment buildings catering for the many tourists who flock to the coast in the summer months.
De Panne's promenade, in fact, has a backdrop of nondescript high rise buildings casting a permanent shade. Pranged between these monstrosities are some relics from a gentler age, typical seaside villas dating from around 1900, some of them in disrepair, as if they have given up competing with the modern age. Quite sad, really.
I am not a great fan of crowded beaches either, and I shudder at the thought of spending time there on a fine summer's day in high season.
It isn't too bad though on a bright September day, after school has started and the majority of the tourists have gone.
The town does have its finer qualities. At the far west, extending into France, is the Westhoek nature reserve, which is the oldest in Flanders, founded in 1957, consisting of a large expanse of sand and dunes, where you can walk for hours. Trudging through the fine sand is quite a slog, and at times it feels like you are surrounded by nothing but sand. One of the sand plains seems so endless that you might think you were in the Sahara, which is its nickname!
As we'd done both the nature reserve and the Dumont Quarter in previous years, we just walked along the beach, savouring the sea air, shells crushing under our feet.
We admired the colourful beach huts De Panne is famous for and, although my camera must get tired of snapping these things, I snapped away, as I never tire of the cheery sight of them.
After lunch at the Kursaal, on the Promenade, we decided on a tram ride.
There's a tramline covering the whole stretch of coast from De Panne all the way to the chic resort of Knokke at the eastern end, so we hopped on and after about 30 minutes hopped off again in the town of Nieuwpoort.
Nieuwpoort is where the River IJzer meets the sea, and the very place where the controlled flooding of the IJzer plain, which changed the course of the First World War, was put into motion.
The beach was strewn with razor shells, while small mussels clung to the western breakwater, being picked over by gulls and sandpipers in search of an easy meal.
After a bracing walk, our shoes full of sand, we took the tram back to the Panne, where our car was waiting to take us back to Poperinge.
Oh, and here's a proper look at the dress which was admired by some of you in one of my previous posts.
It seems like our little break whizzed by in a nano-second, and all too soon it was time to go home, just taking our memories and photographs with us.