What the kusttram is to Belgium, the Gaza marathon is to the Palestinian territories

So it turns out that, since last year, they have a marathon in the gaza strip. Even better, this is the only marathon which covers the entire coast of a state territory (much like Belgium is the only county in the world that has a tram running along it’s entire coastline). The Volkskrant article that made me aware of the existence of the gaza marathon even claims that the coastline of the gaza strip is exactly 42K long, which after some quick fact-checking turns out to be only slightly wrong. Ac…

Old people dumping ground

After having found the children’s deposit point in lille last weekend i went on to the belgian coast to take a ride along the coast in in the kusttram (‘coast-tram’). have wanted to do this for a while as i am (a) a sucker for public transport and (b) i really like the idea of having a tram that runs along almost the entire Belgian coast (not that it is that long of a coast with in total 66km). Unlike almost everything else in begium the coast tram does even make sense. it does run every ten min…

Portbou train station

Have always been fascinated with border towns. The fact that another national economy with other taxes and other social norms is just across the border/mountain/river/fence tends to have interesting effects on these places, and especially what is for sale in the stores and on the streets. Now my most favorite border town in Europe is Portbou on the border of Spain and France: The tiny shops in the even more tiny city center have ridiculous amounts of Pastis on sale (for the Frenchmen who live ju…