I needed a break. Well, you just do sometimes don't you?
The constant day to day drudge of the nine to five erodes your spirit until a
change of scene is all you crave. Nothing fancy, just a few days will do.
Preferably abroad, it just seems more of a break when you're on foreign soil.
I managed to grab a late deal on a long weekend in Ostend.
So desperate was I to get away, I booked without thinking much about where I was going.
It was abroad, which seemed to fit in with my first, and possibly only criteria.
It's in Belgium. Any place that's made up of Flemings and Walloons is fine by me.
Plus, there was a day trip to Bruges thrown in. I was sold.
The coach was picking us up outside Debenhams at six o'clock in the morning.
I alighted the taxi, pulled the handle out of my case, and wheeled it along behind
me whilst attempting to walk with the same serene style as airline cabin crew do
when you see them at the airport.
Any hopes of serenity disappeared as I dragged it through the discarded remnants of a kebab.
All I could think about was the poor driver having to put my case in the luggage hold.
My wheels are covered in garlic sauce. He's going to love me.
The journey through England was pleasant if uneventful.
The sunshine was a delight though, and the scenery I have always taken for granted
whilst driving, took on a divine and comforting beauty that I could admire
with someone else at the wheel.
The beauty seemed to come to an end at the Dartford Bridge, but that
could be bias as I've never been a fan. To me it's just plain ugly.
But then, I've never got Kate Moss so it's probably just me. Anyhow, next stop Dover.
Thirty-two degrees! The air conditioning had masked the sweltering reality of
what was going on outside the confines of our coach.
Dover was awash with vehicles and heat.
Although I had yet to be exposed to the freakish weather, just the thought made me thirsty.
Get me on that ferry, get me to the bar and get me a cold lager.
The lager was shocking, and served by a woman who obviously didn't want to be there.
Why do it, love? Why put yourself through this daily drudge, this occupation for
which you have no aptitude or appetite? A living sure, but life's too short, find something you like.
You can't go on like this. Then, I remembered why I was there, to escape from the very same situation.
She was maybe having a bad afternoon. I had just described my working life.
When I went back for my next drink, I decided I should maybe be a bit more empathetic.
This was short lived as I watched the same woman make a complete and utter balls up
of serving a man with the sum total of two drinks.
She took so long to complete the transaction, that I made a pact with a French
lady waiting patiently next to me.
Whoever got served first should buy the other one a drink otherwise one of us
would still be standing there when we docked at Calais.
I got served first, and my new Gallic friend got a free glass of red wine.
Places to Visit - Eight Feet and Two Weeks On Crete Part 2 by Steve Rudd
One of the best ways of exploring the huge island of Crete is by car: in your own time, at
your own speed and in your own style.
Without the stress and cost of embarking on guided tours.
Head into any of Crete's major cities such as
Hania, Rethymno or Iraklion and you'll be bombarded by rent-a-vehicle establishments, all
of which are fiercely trying to
Places to Visit - Eight Feet and Two Weeks On Crete Part One by Steve Rudd
While I might be a massive fan of Michael Palin's epic travels, and while I do aspire to
follow him in many of his footsteps, up until now I've only ever been abroad three times.
The first time was in 2000, when I was lucky enough to accompany a work colleague for a month in Nepal.
The second time was for a holiday with some friends, last year, to the gorgeous
Places to Visit - Greetings From Amsterdam Part One By Steve Rudd
As the blazing red sunset slowly but surely cast Hull into shadow, the P&O ferry was ready,
and so were the passengers.
I'd never travelled by ferry across to the Netherlands, and thus was naturally overwhelmed
by the sheer scale of the ferry and the wealth of entertainment on board, what with
two cinemas, a kids play area, a restaurant and casino
Places to Visit - On The Pennine Way Part Two By Steve Rudd
After surviving the nightmare of Kinder Scout's mountainous bulk and getting back on track,
the next 'hill' of worth en-route along the Pennine Way is called Bleaklow.
Just like its predecessor, it could quite potentially be the death of you if
you're not careful in negotiating the peaty wastes as you go up and over and
onwards towards the tiny hamlet of
Places to Visit - On The Pennine Way Part One By Steve Rudd
Why on earth would anyone want to go walking on their week off work? That's the question that most people would routinely ask anybody who would do exactly that, as though walking - and long distance walking in particular - is something simply not to be indulged in.
I always argue that there is very little more
Places to Visit - Down South By Steve Rudd
Brighton has always been one hell of a popular place, but until one freezing cold
day in February of this year I had never before spent anytime whatsoever there
in my twenty-four years in this forever-overwhelming world.
I thought it was high time I paid the place a visit, and seeing as though
I was down in London anyway - and a return National Express coach ticket
Places to Visit - Up North By Steve Rudd
So, you look forward all week - at work - to your one or two days off... right? And what do you do on such days off? Housework, no doubt. Do you ever think you should do something more worthwhile with your sacred time off? Like travel, for instance.
County Durham isn't that far a trip from East Yorkshire, and if
Places to Visit - To Hampstead Heath and Beyond ... By Steve Rudd
So, you live in London and wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the inner city scene.
Where can you turn to? Why, the plethora of beautiful parks of course - and there are few
places nicer than Hampstead Heath, in North London, for some quality peace and quiet.
Places to Visit - On the Moors By Steve Rudd
So much for me confiding to people that I thought we were collectively out of the woods
and that Spring was just around the corner.
Clearly I spoke too soon and paid for such a misdemeanour yesterday
(13th February 2005) when I ventured up onto the
Places to Visit - Dinostar - THIS IS HISTORY By Daniel Laney
In the last two months Hull has welcomed a new addition to its ever growing tourist trade.
Dinostar, which opened on Easter Sunday of this year, should hopefully
be welcomed with open arms by families and budding historians alike and with it
being a quick
Places to Visit - Our Samhain Visit to Avebury by Janie Spencer
Before we start on our journey, let me give you a bit of background on Avebury.
It is a beautiful stone circle, so big that you can in fact fit a village inside it, as you can see from this overhead map!
As well as being a tourist spot, it is both a home and a gathering
Places to Visit - Burton Constable Hall.
Burton Constable Hall has collected several ghosts and stories from its 450 year history, the most frequently seen ghost being that of Nurse Dowdall, a much loved nanny to the children of the household during the 19th century.
Places to Visit - A day by the beach - Bridlington Harbour.
This Sunday I was spoilt for choice - either to visit a Buddhist centre in "Kilham"
or attend a strawberries and cream party. Opted to go and find Zen so duly arrived
with my offspring (Katie and Oliver) at my friend's house (Cilla) punctually (for
a change) at 11.30.
Places to Visit - This is Hull
The East Yorkshire city of Kingston Upon Hull has it's fair share of bad press. That's OK, the people who live here know why so many come and stay!
Visit the City and sample the eclectic mix of entertainment on offer, from the
laid-back coffee shops and cosmopolitan bars of the Avenues
Places to Visit - Pickering Park Rocks
Pickering Park rocks for the youth of Hull.
Sunday afternoon, 6th July 2003 saw the first FREE open air Rock Concerts for the youth of Hull, from noon until 7pm.
Bands featured included the Supatones, Crowroad, DumpValve, Freaks Union, The Favours, The Sonnet,
Zap the Flak, S.P.A.F.F.FRead more...
Places to Visit - Beverley Minster By Mo
Founded in the eighth century by John, Bishop of York - later St. John of Beverley - Beverley Minster has been
described as 'the finest gothic church in Europe'.
The present church, built in the 13th and 14th century, is a perfect blending of three