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Amsterdam 1981 & Bruges 2001


A selection of Non Digital Digital Photographs, scanned from original Photo prints.


Amsterdam 1981

In April 1981, we went on a short break to Amsterdam which was titled "Holland from a Steam Train". Travelling by rail from the Midlands to London, we joined a coach at Gloucester Road coach station for the drive to Sheerness, where we were transferred to a Ferry for the overnight sea crossing to Vlisingen. We then continued by coach to our Amsterdam hotel, the Museum Hotel. This was our base for the next 3 days.

We had plenty of time to visit the sites of Amsterdam, which of course included a boat trip along the canals. We also visited a Diamond factory. Excursions, also by coach, included a Cheese Market at Alkmar, a visit to the quaint town of Volendam, and a ride on the the Steam Train between Hoorn and Medemblick. We spent several hours at the latter town before returning on the Steam Train to Hoorn, where our coach was waiting. A feature of our short holiday was the friendliness of the Dutch people.

Our return to the UK was via Ferry to Dover, from where we returned to London by coach, then back to the Midlands by train. An interesting short break, which left us determined to return to Holland again, though in the event it took us 22 years before we did so.















  Bruges 2001

BRUGES has been on our "must go" list for many years. Highly recommended by all who have been, and described in the travel brochures as "Europes best preserved medieval city, and the prettiest": "Known as the Venice of the north" for it's canals, the charming city offers an abundance of cultural treasures". So in 2001 we decided we would go, and did so on Saturday 22nd September 2001.

The timing could not have been worse. The following day the world was thrown into turmoil by the terrorist attacks on the United States. Immediately flying by air became taboo, and those who did fly were subject to massive security inspections at the airports.

So we flew out from Birmingham Airport (no delays or problems whatsoever) to Brussels, caught the train from the Airport into Brussels itself, then another for the fast journey out to Bruges. We arrived early afternoon and elected to walk from the railway station into the centre of Bruges, a decision we were to regret for carrying baggage (complete with wheels) down the cobbled streets was laborious and tiring. We took a little time to find our hotel, which was conveniently close to the centre of Bruges.

The GRAND HOTEL OUDE BURG, close to the Market Square, was a modern building which contrasted with the traditional architecture around it. Our bedroom was semi circular, modern, and comfortable. It was a good choice.

Everything about Bruges appealed to us. The many pavement cafe's, the friedliness of the locals, the grandness of the architecture, the quality shops, but most of all, the completely relaxed atmosphere of the place. The highlight of our visit was surely the Sunday Market, which stretched right through the centre of Bruges, for about a mile through the main park. But equally we enjoyed wandering round the pleasant backwaters of the town,  watching the boats on the canals, and strolling through the many gardens. We even managed to find an Internet Cafe, and succeeded in despatching an e-mail. The weather was perfect throughout our short break.

. So on Tuesday it was back home. The train back into Brussells, then another to the Airport, where we arrived with plenty of time to spare, which was useful for a snack lunch and to catch up on some duty free shopping. Our flight home was comfortable and punctual.











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