Posted by: travelrat | June 15, 2012

Brussels … Sort Of!

A drawback with a coach trip is you often don’t know where you’ll be staying until the last moment. I’d guess this is because the coach company waits until they can score a good last-minute deal. So, when we booked for the Maastricht concert, we were just told that the accommodation would be ‘somewhere near Maastricht’. That, I could live with. Maybe they’d put us somewhere nice, like Valkenburg … or even Aachen?

The other day, our final instructions arrived. We’d be staying in … Brussels! Which, in my opinion, is ‘near Maastricht’  like York is near London. But, a harder look at the fine print revealed that the accommodation will be ‘within 90 minutes’ drive of Maastricht’.

Still, Brussels may not be so bad … I thought of places like the Mort Subite, De Brouwers, the Comic Book Museum … Nope!

The hotel is way out in the sticks near the airport, and promises views over a business park. And, I’m dying to see what ‘a quiet location convenient for the airport’ is like; seems like rather a contradiction to me.

So, it looks like we aren’t going to see much of Brussels … then I remembered the last time I passed through, about fifteen years ago. We also weren’t supposed to see anything of Brussels then, but …

We were supposed to leave just after breakfast, but one of the women in the party decided to reserve her table by the window by hanging her bag over the chair back while she got her breakfast from the buffet.

Not unsurprisingly, it was gone when she returned. Suspicion immediately fell on a group of Spanish painters staying at the hotel … I thought that was a British thing, putting the blame on the nearest foreigner! The Spanish lads denied all knowledge … I, and several others, were able to affirm that none of them had gone anywhere near the window table since they came into the room.

Well, it was midday before the police finished their business and we got on our way. But, to keep us from getting too bored, the driver loaded the rest of us into the coach, and gave us an impromptu tour of the city.

On that occasion, we weren’t in a hurry, but time is rather tight on this one. So, ladies, please keep your bags with you!




  1. Hi Keith,
    I think that is strange how they wouldn’t tell you where everyone was staying until the last minute, I hope it is nice and clean at least and some breakfast is provided, personally I don’t like those sort of surprises. 🙂

  2. I’m pretty sure the coach company have the accommodation booked beforehand, just they don’t always tell the clients.

    Imagine a bus turning up with 50 tired and hungry people and not finding enough rooms…. you’d all be sleeping on the seats.

    A drawback with a coach trip is you often don’t know where you’ll be staying until the last moment. I’d guess this is because the coach company waits until they can score a good last-minute deal.

    • I think they’re more afraid of the opposite happening … they book (say) 25 rooms, and only five people take the tour!

      The ‘last minute’ theory was told to me by a coach driver from another company, who told me ‘We always state from the outset where the passengers will be staying’

      Maybe the ones who don’t feel it may be an off-put for potential customers?

      • Wouldn’t it be easier to cancel rooms last minute rather than try to block book them?

        Normally, yes. But, quite often, if a discount has been obtained, there’s a ‘no refunds’ policy in place. I’ll try and find out what the score is here … I have an interview with a coach operator scheduled for later in the year.

  3. Well, considering the weather we are having all over Europe, and the normal weather for Brussels, it will be a nice surprise if it just stops raining…

  4. Hope you’re having fun. And that the room is nice 😀

    • We’ll be there Saturday night; leaving for Maastricht in the morning, and returning after the concert. So, I doubt if we’ll see much of the place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: