When you hear the name Einstein you probably immediately think about the relativity theory he made. But have you ever thought about the city "De Haan" while thinking about Einstein? In 1933 Einstein lived there for a few months while being unable to return home to Germany, since it wasn't safe there for him anymore. As a reminder of this, you can spot a statue of him sitting on a bench in De Haan.
If you enter the city by use of the coastal tram, you arrive at an English Norman styled tram station named "De Haan aan zee". This style is very typical for the belle époque style that was popular along the coast during the 19th Century. You can also find the tourism information center inside and ask them for a map of the city. If you want to take the coastal tram it might be handy to ask for information to the person who sells the tickets on the platform, since they will be able to help you get your hands on the cheapest way to travel during your stay at the coast. You can see this style all throughout the town, when you walk from the tram station in the direction of the sea.
If you love walking and the coast then this is also the perfect place for you. There is around 157 hectare of dunes and the dune forest between De Haan and Bredene that you can explore. There is a remade trail that starts from the Tram station named "De Haan aan zee" and it might be handy to get your hands on a map before you leave, so you certainly can't get lost. The tourist information center is located at the tram station which is also the starting point of the trail.
If you have children that love animals, this might be the spot for you. I remember when I was very little going to the De Haan and feeding goats (it is no longer allowed to feed them). But even just going to look at the goats and touching them was a lot of fun for me. The small animal park is situated nearby the Hubert mill. This mill was renovated so you can visit it safely. If you follow the Leopoldlaan from the mill in the direction of Knokke, you will automatically arrive at the small park.
I know what you probably think; "What is a Spioenkop?". Spioenkop references to a battle by farmers against the English that took place in the 19th Century in a place called Spioenkop in South-Africa. In De Haan they named a small house placed on top of the highest dune after it. Originally there was a guard post on top of this dune in the 19th Century against illegal smuggling. Later on this was not necessary anymore and the place lost its original purpose. It was destroyed multiple times during the World Wars and the one you can admire now was built in the year 1955. It is a very nice place if you want to enjoy the view over De Haan and the dunes. And since it is placed on a dune and not in a building, you do not have to pay any entrance fee to be able to enjoy these views.
Another place worth visiting is the statue of Albert Einstein and the villa where he lived during the months he was in De Haan. Even though you cannot visit the house, it is a beautiful building to look at. And of course you have to take a picture while you sit next to Einstein. Some of my pictures where taking during an event called "trammelant". This events happens during an entire day and people dress up from the time of the belle époque. If you happen to be at the coast during the event it might be a fun time to visit this lovely city.
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