Belgium City trip Europe Featured Travel

Kinky in Koksijde: butt-naked on a Belgian beach

Beat me to death with an old loaf of bread, but until recently I couldn’t tell you much about Koksijde. I knew it was located somewhere on the seaside near the French border and that you could fish for shrimp from the back of a big Brabant draft horse there, but that was as far as my knowledge went. So when I spotted the Koksijde-Oostduinkerke Tourism ladies on an event recently, I mainly started talking to them because they looked nice and I needed the social interaction. One interesting conversation later, I realised they had far more interesting stuff in store for me than I thought at first glance.

“Koksijde is the only place in Belgium where you can shamelessly hang out in a hotel in your bare ass. Isn’t that just absolutely wonderful?”

One thing in particular immediately caught my interest. Koksijde is the only place in Belgium where you can shamelessly hang out in a hotel in your bare ass. Isn’t that just absolutely wonderful? I instantly had them book me a room. Everything else would become clear once I was actually there. And look: before the North Sea retreated all the way to Dover as soon as it saw my pearly white ass, I managed to discover a whole bunch of interesting spots. You’ll find the first four below. Have fun reading and try not to gouge out your eyes. It’s gonna be a rough one.

 

1. Enjoy a well-deserved naked holiday

Before checking in at Sea Nat – the only B&B for naturists in the entire country – I of course had a few doubts. Would they be waiting for me in the lobby stark naked? Would they pull down my pants for inspection? Would the local Bill Cosby be staring at my rosy cheeks from the poolside bushes?  Not at all, dear friends! Sea Nat is a perfectly normal and very pleasant B&B, ran by a sweet couple living there with one of their parents. Everyone was meticulously dressed when I arrived and at no point – however much I tried drawing attention by furiously helicoptering my dingdong – I could catch anyone staring. Breakfast was waiting at the door of my spacious apartment room every morning and in the garden I could freely enjoy a pool, a Jacuzzi and a sauna. Two minutes after going outside I had already forgotten I wasn’t wearing any pants, skipping happily around the pool with my furry friend flapping in the wind as if the world had suddenly become a kinder place. That feeling only changed when I started making the pictures for this article, which confronted me with the brutal reality of my physical state. Anyone up for a jog this week?

“Two minutes after going outside I had already forgotten I wasn’t wearing any pants, skipping happily around the pool with my furry friend flapping in the wind as if the world had suddenly become a kinder place.”

All jokes aside I really enjoyed my stay. The philosophy behind the whole place is great as well. It’s not about being naked or parading your schlong in front of other people’s faces. It’s about accepting who you are and what you look like, without anybody judging you. www.seanat.be

 

2. Get up early for some cultural world heritage

After a day of fishing for my own shrimp in the Jacuzzi, it was time to go and see the actual professionals have a go at it. This is why I was standing on a misty Oostduinkerke beach the next morning, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes after waking up at some godforsaken hour. This stretch of beach is the only place on the planet where you can still see the traditional shrimp fishers on horseback at work. The profession has been around for at least 500 years, and a while ago it was proclaimed cultural world heritage by Unesco. Few things – except for the ugly wall of high rises lining the seaside promenades – are more iconic for the Belgian coast than those sturdy men in yellow rain jackets braving the cold on the broad backs of their draft horses. You can go and join them from April to late September, and it makes for an impressive spectacle – especially when the weather is rough. Sixteen of them are still active today, and some are getting old. So whoever feels like it can start looking for a trusty steed and a suitable jacket. Traditions are there to uphold. www.visitkoksijde.be/nl/garnaalvissers-te-paard.

 

3. Drink Belgian beers from the bottle in a Native American bar

Everyone who reads this blog knows I love special bars. The kind of half hidden drinking holes only the locals know about. Wigwam in Sint-Idesbald is one of them: a fun and authentic village pub where you’d happily spend the whole night drinking. It’s located in a narrow street close to the Paul Delvaux museum, and from the outside you can barely see it’s a bar. Once inside you’re in a different place altogether. There are almost no windows, so twilight is eternal here. The interior is completely unique: every wall is covered in Native American mosaics and paintings of horses and chieftains, colourful lights and blacklights are everywhere, and there’s an actual totem pole behind the bar. The place is kept open (only in the evening by the way) by just one single woman and the beers are served in the bottle. The Native American theme was chosen somewhere in the eighties, without putting much thought into it. Strangely though, the original house was built in 1900, by a Canadian immigrant who moved to Belgium with his Native American wife. Both parties never knew about each other until the man’s grandson visited the bar in a nostalgic mood and nearly fell over when he saw what they had done to the place. There’s no such thing as coincidence.

 

4. Travel through time in a medieval abbey

Koksijde has a surprising number of quality museums on offer, and Abdijmuseum Ten Duinen is one of the largest. A ticket here will last you the entire afternoon (by the way: every first Saturday of the month most museums are free to enter). Outside you can explore the foundations of the original abbey and play a game of medieval bowling. Inside all sorts of relics are on display, including chastity scales, a whip for self-chastisement and a whole bunch of dead monks. Unique is that you can walk through the actual building as it was in the 15th century by putting on a set of VR-goggles. Even your hands are digitalised, which means you can give the virtual abbot the middle finger when he’s not looking – always the rebel. The highlight of the whole tour to me was the video they play every thirty minutes. It was shot by Oscar nominated director Stijn Coninx, and the leading role is played by a famous Belgian actor who was apparently still going through puberty at the time. The whole thing oozes a fantastically silly early 2000s atmosphere. It has a schoolgirl traveling through time with a magic coffee can, after which she fails to realise medieval Dutch would be incomprehensible gibberish to her, but still manages to save the abbot from getting murdered to death with the help of a Sony Walkman, which does not cause her to immediately be burned at the stake for being a witch. I loved every second of it. Never laughed so hard in a museum. www.tenduinen.be

“Even your hands are digitalised, which means you can give the virtual abbot the middle finger when he’s not looking – always the rebel.”

This is it for the first part of my wild adventures in Koksijde. You can read part two here. Any questions on the topics presented? Are you from Blankenberge and do you feel your weird little town deserves an article as well. Are you a naturist and are you interested in a duo holiday? Did you see my pool picture and are you in need of therapy now? Feel free to pour it all down in the comments below.

I received a lot of help and support from Koksijde-Oostduinkerke Tourism while making this report. For all information on the destination, visit: www.visitkoksijde.be.

You Might Also Like

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Lenie
    April 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Inb4 you ask me why ive not been catching up on your blog. That being said, this sounds like a really cool place to visit sans naked hotel. Hahahaha loved it!

    • Reply
      Jonathan Ramael
      April 12, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      Why so prudish Lenie? :p

Leave a Reply