had an hour or so before the train to carry us onto Brussels, so we
exited the station on the opposite entrance to that of the Cathedral,
and found ourselves a comfortable place to have a snack. On the train
again, we began to realise it might be best to carry on to the
destination that we had had in mind to spend the weekend. This was
Brugges. No hotel booked, but we decided to risk it, and go on. So, we
ended up coming out of the station, into an unknown town, following a
twelve hour rail journey - it being by that time after eight in the
evening. And not a room booked!
along, we came across some people, who were themselves out for a walk,
and inquired of them as to accomodation. They turned out to be very
helpful. The first hotel they pointed us too when we looked at it, had
a "complete" notice on the door, so we knew it was full. But our
helpers had indicated the direction to look for others. So we trotted
on. First on we came upon was also full up. So on again. Bit luckier
then as the reception lady immediately indicated there was room, so bit
of comfort! Then she had to deal with 'phone calls while we waited.
Then a bit of bad news. She only had what was termed 'Superior' rooms,
and these would cost more than we usually pay. What to do? We pondered.
But it was obvious, we should take it. Fact, as I've since found out,
the price we did pay, was fair in comparism to other hotel charges in
Brugges. It has in fact a large range of hotel, and tourism is its main
and perhaps only industry.
had taken a tour into this town just two years previously. We consider
it a pretty outstanding place. But then so do vast numbers of others,
even at this time of year, it being packed with tourists. The first
morning of our stay, the square in front, also streets were packed with
stalls for the weekly market, this in itself was entertaining. Though as mentioned
we had viewed previously, we do prefer making our own
explorations. This partly the reason for a returnto this town. Another being we felt ought
to be quite close to Calais for our crossing to Dover on Monday. We do not consider it
wise to travel at weekends if avoidable.
again to comment on meals out: Obviously necessary when travelling.
Fact, all in all likely to be at least a thousand in the years since I
became "leisured". Intrigues me that in this whole period only three
memorable ones stand out. Incredible likewise that these should be in a
compact area of central Europe. One just a dish taken in a town called
Samobar just west of Zagreb in Croatia. The next perhaps less than a
three hours drive north into Austria. Finally, Regensburg, this just a
short distance north again. The general conception that France is the
place for culinary perfection, being very certainly not a view I would
though becoming happier with English meals, instances at the years end;
We took a trip into Herefordshire, staying at a 'Premier' in Hereford.
One day driving out to Weobley, a favourite village of ours. The meal
we had at the Salutation Inn,
being really good. Following day's meal at Blue Boar in Hay-on-Wye, likewise.
not counted, but have wondered if we have broken 'records' for 'nights
away' in 2011! To add to numbers, should record a couple of nights
spent at a 'Premier' in Weymouth, this in mid December, and taken
partly for convenience of visits.