Written on: 22/03/2006 by lewist (37 reviews written)
Superfast Ferries were great
Wonderful compact mediaeval city;
Lots to do and see on foot.
No ripoff prices
None we found.
We went to Bruges as a treat for our wedding anniversary, sailing from Rosyth on a Friday evening and returning the following Tuesday morning. We booked through Osprey Holidays (osprey-holidays.co.uk) and the whole experience was a good one.
The ferry service from Rosyth is great. The ships themselves are very comfortable and seem to be very fast, though quiet and stable. It was a novelty to travel under the Forth Bridges instead of over them and we were able to see the East coast for a good bit of the journey in the evening. We had pre-booked meals and we had dinner aboard, a buffet, and the quality was good. We slept well in our outside cabin with a window and were able to have a relaxed breakfast in the morning. The service on board was very good, with friendly and attentive staff.
On arrival we were met by minibus and transferred to the Pand Hotel which is in a street near the canal. The hotel is small and luxurious with antique furniture and a quality feel to it. It was air conditioned and therefore comfortable in June. Breakfast was very good and even included a glass of champagne, which is a wonderful way to start the day.
What did we do? The evening we arrived was free museum night in the City museums and we visited two nearby which were busy. There was music everywhere that night and it was enough simply to take in the atmosphere in the dark, and enjoy a meal al fresco. The following day we visited the Halve Maan brewery which is really a tourist attraction though they do still make beer to sell to visitors. The tour included a beer and we stayed for lunch and had another. The afternoons we spend exploring the town on foot, visiting a Monet exhibition and having a canal tour.
The history of Bruges is fascinating, as one of the northern ends of the major mediaeval trade routes with links to the North, falling gradually into the doldrums as the river silted up, and then reinventing itself as a tourist desination in the 19th Century. Bruges is still recognisable as a medieval city and there is nothing tacky or tasteless about it. It is as authentic as StAndrews but in June it is a bit warmer.
For us, living in the Scottish Central Belt, it was wonderful to drive the few miles over the Bridge, park at Rosyth and board the ship, where our short holiday really did start. This particular holiday was not a cheap one, being for a very special occasion, but it was very memorable.
As rated by real users