Denmark’s slice of cycling heaven

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This gallery contains 5 photos.

I am very lucky that I have cycled in some amazing places – high mountains, cycling cities, passionate cycling fans, stunning tourism routes. To that mix I can add the places that just have “something”. Maybe the attractions are a … Continue reading

Reasons to be cheerful 2016 – cycling in North Cyprus

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This gallery contains 4 photos.

In the middle of gloomy news and predictions for 2016 two of the media organisations I follow carried very similar stories of a small ray of sunshine in Europe. 2016 might be the end of a 42 year old conflict … Continue reading

From thought provoking to bonkers: Part 2. Love, affection, sensuality, play and respect in Oslo’s Vigeland Sculpture Park

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This gallery contains 16 photos.

This is the second of three short blog posts about sculpture. The previous piece and the introduction to is contained in a first post from Bruges in Belgium. The second post really works well as a photo gallery, because words … Continue reading

Impressions of Bruges – beautiful canal city of Flanders

Photo Kevin MaynePhoto Kevin Mayne

I wrote recently about Belgium’s undiscovered gems of history and tourism. Bruges in West Flanders is not one of those, it is possibly one of the two or three best known places in Belgium to visit along with the WW1 battlefields and Brussels Grand Place, especially for the English speaking world.

I have previously been there out of the main holiday season when the cobbled streets, squares and canals were not over-run by fellow tourists so it was with a little trepidation that we booked to go to Bruges on an overnight visit in early August. We hoped past pleasures were not going to be swamped by the sheer volume of people, especially as we were introducing two friends to Bruges for the first time.

No need to worry. Despite the fact that it was much busier the town retained its charm, beauty and sense of history throughout the weekend. In fact just a few minutes from the hot spots around the main market square there were oases of peace and tranquility tucked away to delight the senses, and the camera.

Photo Kevin Mayne

That is helped by the fact that the city has very low traffic volumes and speeds. It isn’t quite car free, but here the pedestrian is king, closely followed by the horse-drawn carriages, bicycles and tour boats.

Photo Kevin Mayne

Photo Kevin Mayne Photo Kevin Mayne

In visual terms there are some wonderful set piece locations that should feature in any montage, especially the views over the canals.

Photo Kevin Mayne

The open water area in front of the gate of the Beguinage is especially stunning at night.

(To see the photos below at their best click on any image in the gallery and it will appear full sized on your screen.)

But the best of Bruges also encourages me to look beyond the set piece, especially to look up above the heads of the tourists. There the Flemish stepped gables mingle with the grey rooves of the great churches and the coloured facades glowed in the sunshine of a bright day.

Of course while I was there I couldn’t help be drawn in by the fact that Bruges is one of Belgium’s top cycling towns, so in the next post I’ll post a little photo essay on the cyclists of Bruges, but for today I’ll just let these picture of the city speak for themselves Definitely one of my top recommendations for any tour of Europe, not just of Belgium.

Photo Kevin Mayne

Facing our Waterloo – time for the 200 year birthday party

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

This week is the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, by far the biggest thing that ever happened round here so the various layers of Belgian local government and the former allies have finally got their act together to … Continue reading