A Christmas Gift

A Christmas Gift

When Christmas time arrived, Mr C and I didn’t really want anything in the way of presents so we decided to treat ourselves to a relaxing weekend away instead.  This ruled out flying to a destination because that would mean several (non-relaxing) hours in an airport waiting to fly…

As luck would have it an email arrived from the Belgian hotel chain that we used when we stayed in Bruges.  It gave us inspiration and I fell in love with one of the hotels in the chain.  The Hotel is a converted Church!  I researched the hotel’s town and found that it had many things of interest.  The guidebooks describe it as a beautiful medieval town, with charm and outstanding architectural treasures.

But how would we get there…

We decided that the best way to travel was by train.  The ‘end to end’ journey could easily be booked via the Eurostar site.  As well as travel to Brussels by Eurostar, we also booked travel by rail to London and onward from Brussels.

In theory it should all be ‘Plane Railing’ and I will be able to sit and relax and watch the world go by and maybe take a photo or two along the way.

By the time you read this I should be able to tell you how we faired on our travels…

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3 thoughts on “A Christmas Gift

  1. ow magical. And yes, I do want to hear all about it. Your next post pehaps? (hint, hint.)
    We have been giving experiences rather than ‘things’ for some time now – and it has an additional benefit. Fumble fingered me doesn’t have to wrap them.
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSoosie

    What a fabulous hotel! How special that it’s in a converted church. And – yes..yes – please do tell us about your travels – :-)!
    March 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterMarcie

    Cherry i adore it that you can so easily travel by train something we cannot do here. I used to love traveling more by train as a child. What a very unique hotel as you describe it. Can’t wait to hear all about your wonderful trip.
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

    What a wonderful hotel, it sounds like a very unique place. I would love to hear more about your travel and the city where the hotel is. Hope you had (or are having) a wonderful time there
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZena

    Sounds like fun, especially with great company and a camera in hand. Hope it was, Cherry!
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElena Caravela

    Sounds perfect!
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

    I would LOVE to travel by train to some quaint get-away location like you have described. Sounds wonderful!
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSue

    This is a hotel? It’s so intriguing – I want to see the inside now. And to travel by train? I love to go that mode…enjoy!
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

    What a wonderful gift, it sounds like my idea of the perfect vacation, reading, reading, and more reading… Enjoy!
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

    There are few cities in the world like Bruges–hope your trip was wonderful.
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSusie@Life-Change-Compost

    Now you’re talking, Cherry! I LOVE European trains, for starters. And I absolutely adore Bruges, which is only a 2-hour drive away from us, 181 km. In fact, Astrid and I keep talking about wanting to go there together (we’ve both been there separately). Maybe we’ll do it this year. So we’ll have to get more info from you about that church/hotel! The architecture in Belgium is so similar to that in the Netherlands, of course!
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGinnie

    Sounds like my kind of trip! In fact, I hope such a train trip is in my near future only here in the states, from where I live out to the West Coast.
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaery Rose

    I miss the train travel in Europe – so much more relaxing than flying. I hope you’re having a wonderful trip.
    We’ll do some train travel in Europe this summer. The Eurostar from London to Paris is already booked – to be honest, I can’t wait!
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarola

    To get a gift one enjoys is always a treat, it’s great that you and Mr C are able to present one another with such a gift. I like such agreement resulting in mutual satisfaction, surprises are not always needed or welcome. Also, presenting an experience instead of a product may be a welcome change, it even may be more important. I’m sure this experience will add its enriching value to your already extensive collection. 🙂
    March 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPetra

    Can’t wait to hear about your travels! I love, love, love travelling by train. I’ve become something of a convert in recent years. And, last summer, took the train across Canada…a fantastic trip, if you’re ever looking for a long, beautiful train ride! 🙂 Also, love that church cum hotel. What a wonderful spot..and such a wonderful gift to give each other – time, beauty, travel. Gorgeous!
    March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJuli

    The photo that accompanies this post is of the hotel Martin’s Brugge. It is the hotel I staye in on my two vacations to Bruges (Brugge). The photo shows the room that I stayed in on my last visit, a part of the hotel that was a new addition although it is a lot older than the original part of the hotel.

    You can have a sneaky preview of the hotel I stayed in on my recent visit to Mechelen on the following link:

    http://www.martinshotels.com/en/hotel/martins-patershof
    March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCherryPi

    Cherry have you seen the movie In Bruges? Puts a whole new spin on that city….enjoy!!!
    April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

    I have not seen the film but on my last visit to Bruges a cafe owner was telling us all about it 🙂
    April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCherryPie

  2. I look forward to all the photos.

    It is something I miss, down here in Paradise Oz. All the ‘old’ stuff. There are pockets of old stuff around (in Tasmoania we have old stone houses built by convicts) but they are few and very far between and barely a train to take us there.

    My friend Roy (from my very earliest RAF days) is now a confirmed – nay, Ordained – train chap. He goes on specially organised trips on luxurious carriages, which occur from time to time at the behest of ‘clubs’. To him and his fellow old train affeccionados there is nowt more pleasurable.

    Hmmmm.

    So some snaps of your train travel would be nice too! 🙂

    • I have to confess I am in my element exploring the old stuff. It is interesting in and of itself but it also gives perspective on the new stuff in some ways.

      Mechelen is fascinating, there are so many hidden treasures. The many churches are still ‘working churches’ but in addition to that they are also unexpected art galleries. Several of them are currently undergoing restoration so the outside is covered with scaffolding but when you step inside you find yourself in a different world.

      Train travel to the continent…

      After this trip I am a convert. I am now planning my (train) journey to Chartres which was on the cards in 2012 but we ended up in Carcassone instead (another great place to visit). There is a long story as to why it didn’t happen in 2013 either 😉 But the idea of travelling there by train has made Chartres more accessible. Maybe in 2015 😉

      I have lots of photos, but only a couple of the train travel…

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