Traveling in Style

The traffic to Stafford station  was heavier than expected.  This cut it a bit fine for getting to the station in time for printing off the tickets.  Luckily the ticket printing ran smoothly, which is not always the case.

Once on the train, we had a bacon buttie and cup of tea for breakfast.  Some things just have to be done ;-)  The train ran smoothly to Euston, where we hailed a cab to take us around the corner to  St Pancras station to catch the Eurostar to Brussels.  The journey ran smoothly apart from a slight hassle due the scanning machines refusing to register my ticket, meaning the automatic barriers didn’t open to let me through. This involved a bit of too and froing on my part before I was directed to the manual check in booth.

I found checking in at customs was much more relaxed that at an airport.  Travelling by Eurostar was very civilised and we were served with what was called a mid morning snack; yoghurts, bread, croissants and pastries with fruit juice, water, tea and coffee provided with top ups.  The connecting service from Brussels was easy to navigate and also ran smoothly.  On arrival at Mechelen station we caught a cab to the hotel and checked in. The hotel we had chosen to stay in was a converted church and our room had several architectural features and a stained glass window.

A Hotel with Style

When we got to our room we quickly unpacked before setting off to explore the city. It was easy to see why the guidebooks describe Mechelen as ‘a medieval town with charm’, even though some of the buildings are currently shrouded with scaffolding.

We booked into a restaurant for an evening meal and returned to the hotel to freshen up before dinner.  There was a small problem with the room safe refusing to open, with our things locked inside…  A lady from the hotel reception was unable to fix it, but she was able to open it with an emergency key and booked a maintenance call for the next day.  We were offered the facility of the safe behind the reception area until it was fixed.  The evening meal was excellent and on the way back to the hotel we stopped off in a small bar that was full of locals.  Sixties, seventies and eighties music was playing in the background so it was a bit like stepping back in time.  After a small nightcap we returned to our room with a view…

Attention to Detail

Bathroom View

A Bed with a View

16 Comments CherryPie on Mar 31st 2014

16 Responses to “Mechelen – Day One”

  1. ....peter:) says:

    Wow Cherie!!!
    … it sounds like you had a wonderful start for your holiday… but the room in the church was the crème de la crop… i have never had such sculptured pillars in any bathroom that i have been in….peter:)

  2. Oh yes, definitely!
    Travelling to Paris, Lille, Brussels etc is much easier with Eurostar. :)
    I’ve never been to Mechelen.
    This place sounds like the tyre company, Michelin?! Ha ha :D
    Are they related? He he…

  3. JD says:

    That is a very spectacular looking hotel!
    How did you find that? :)

  4. Mark in Mayenne says:

    Bonjour Cherie, not St Pancreas, I think :)

    • CherryPie says:

      Bonjour Mark :-)

      Woops! LOL. Typo corrected! I never manage to spot my own typos. No matter how many times I read my posts I see what I know should be written ;-)

      In Mechelen, the main language spoken is Flemish. Some (but not all) people additionally spoke English or French. When visiting the Churches we found that the leaflets were mainly in Flemish or French. The Church guides saw us as a bit of a novelty… They don’t get many English (British) visitors and were pleased to see us.

  5. Mark in Mayenne says:

    Nice to know we’re still welcome in some parts of the world :) – I think the world needs a patron saint for diabetics, and I have an idea …….

  6. What a fabulous hotel, loved the bathroom and window in the bedroom…We’ve had a trip on the Eurostar to motor around Normandy which all went very smoothly… I wonder how they are with wheelchair users ?
    What made you pick Mechelen Cherie ?
    Actually it was the Eurostar service carrying cars but I agree, much better way to travel, I hate airports for the very reason of Dearest getting me in wheelchair and struggling with suitcases and check in…. I must look into that,
    Yet another interesting post with lovely pictures too!

    • CherryPie says:

      I am not sure how they would be with wheelchairs, I didn’t see any on my trip. It will probably give information on the Eurostar website.

      If you look at the link in my comment to JD that explains the story behind the choosing of the hotel.

      I am glad you like the post and pictures :-)

  7. james higham says:

    Sure it was wonderful but there’s something sad about abandoned churches all the same.

    • CherryPie says:

      Mechelen is a city of many churches. Too many to remain viable as churches of worship. It is better the building and history remain for the pleasure of generations to come (in another function) rather than it decline into disrepair and be demolished.

      The Mechelen churches that are still worshiped in are also in need of a lot of TLC to keep the buildings structurally safe. Money is needed to facilitate this!

      More history on Martin’s Patershof coming soon ;-)

  8. J_on_tour says:

    Nice post.

    I’ve often been given inspiration from a work colleague about using St Pancras to explore further, Magnificent station.
    I had to print tickets off in my local railway station two weeks ago, I didn’t know the facility existed until I was pointed in that direction by the information assistant in the booking office.

    • CherryPie says:

      The first time you use the print off ticket facility it can be a little daunting.

      The first time I used the facility my work colleague was raving about how good it was. He talked me through how to order the tickets and when we were at the station he helped me print mine off. Mine printed off perfectly but when he came to print off his tickets the machine said NO!! :