Tag Archives: Train

Exploring Brussels

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Good morning Brussels! This little weekend getaway came about when we saw how cheap it was to take the train to Brussels. So with a 5 am morning call to catch the Eurostar from St. Pancreas at 6:30 am, we just had a backpack for the two days worth of clothes that we would need and of course my running gear. After a little mishap with finding our way out of the train station we were on our way to the hotel to that they can hold our bags while we toured the city.

We stayed at the Royal Windsor hotel which is central to the old city and in walking distance of everything that you can imagine. We were lucky enough that our room was available at 11 am, never hurts to ask the front desk. After dropping off the bags we were off to have lunch in the little plaza around the corner in front of the Grand Dash Place which is the town square and are able to see the spire from our bedroom window.

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After confirming with our tour company that was booked through Viator with Brussels City Tours for where and when the pick up would occur, we were off to explore the Royal Gardens as well as the outside of the Palace. I talked Josh into the challenge of taking on the Metro to get out to see the Mini-Europe as well as the Atomium from the World Fair that was outside the city and not with in walking distance.

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After reaching the end of the line 6 on the Metro we made it. Now a little warning, the Metro is not like the one in London or Moscow. This is old school where you need to pull the handle to open the doors and they are super loud when they close so a nap is out of the question. Trust me I tried.

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After standing in line to get the combo tickets it was up to the exhibit that was in the Atomium, see some of the photos and read the information from the world fair. After some amazing views of the city it was time to head over to Mini Europe.

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They provide you with a pamphlet that gives you the history of the country and the building that was used to represent the country as well as a little background information on the currency and the population at the time of printing. I kinda felt like Godzilla taking on Tokyo in the park but it was educational and there were buttons to press to hear the anthem of that country.

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Since it was starting to get dark and we had an early morning, we headed back to the hotel with a little stop at the Little Peeing Boy. You can’t miss his tiny street corner. Look for all the tourist huddled around the street corner and the signs listing a waffle for a euro and you are there. Do not get the waffles there! Go to an actual restaurant where they are so little you do not fell guilty about eating a couple of them with ice cream of chocolate.

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The hotel was amazing! The beds were nice and soft with plenty of pillows. The staff was helpful in providing directions and suggestions on what to see. In the morning I went to the gym and had a nice work out with adequate equipment for both cardio and muscle training. It was a little hard to find, but they even had a little sauna in the dressing area to enjoy before or after your work out. We checked out and had breakfast at a local cafe before heading over to the pick up point.

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We met another solo traveler, Ashley from California, who was great pleasure to spend time with on the bus and around the city when doing the tour of Ghent and Bruges cities. The only issue I had with the tour was that it was in three languages. Now this could have been done better with an audio guide but we had the live guide repeat the same thing in English, French and Spanish. While this was impressive, it ate up a lot of time that we could be spending in the cities on our own.

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So after the walking tour of Ghent that included the cities of the old, a meat and fish market as well as the medieval castle, we were off to Bruges. Ashley, Josh and I decided that we would split from the group to walk around and see the city. After lunch at the local brewery and a lovely and highly recommended boat tour, we hit up the local markets. There was some amazing art work, pottery and scarves. You don’t realize how big the city is until you actually get lost in the heart of it. I would recommended spending a couple of days here. Half a day was not enough time to take everything in.

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Because we had to catch the late Eurostar back to London, we booked a ticket for the train running from Bruges to Brussels to make sure we had enough time to go through check in and passport control. At this point the UK Border Control is getting a little concerned about my coming and goings but I have my return flight to prove I intend to go home and not immigrate illegally. Next stop is in a couple of weeks to Birmingham but right now I have to get my Doctor Who Convention outfit together. Now to go as a Darlek or the TARDIS…

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Running of the Bulls San Fermin 2013 by Luxury Train

Running of the Bulls San Fermin 2013 by Luxury Train – the most exclusive luxurious train tour in the world (5 Nights / 6 Days)

Watch Running of the Bulls in Spain for San Fermin 2013. Join us in Madrid for a once-in-a-lifetime excursion. Travel through World Heritage cities and explore their wonder as you arrive in Pamplona for the main event – The San Fermin Festival’s annual “Running of the Bulls.” The tour travels from Madrid to Zaragoza as you enjoy days of sightseeing and discovery without having to pack or unpack every day.

  • This tour is available exclusively through PALACE TOURSbull fight
  • All Meals Included
  • All excursions and entrances to monuments in the world heritage cities along the way are INCLUDED.

  • Guided Tours in English, Spanish, French and German

  • Visit Spain’s Wine Country and partake in a special wine tasting
  • Watch the legendary Running of the Bulls from a special viewing location (You do NOT run with the bulls in this tour!)
  • Relax in the suites of the luxury train, which include private, ensuite, full-sized bathrooms

Unpack only one upon arrival on this luxury “rail cruise.” The train will journey to the cities of Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, Burgos, Pamplona, Zaragoza where you will disembark the train.

Extension to Barcelona available on High Speed Train

Your tour will feature some of the finest artisanal and gastronomic cuisine of the cities you visit. Taste the gourmet cuisine and finest wines that the area has to offer.

Wine Tasting, Culture, Gastronomy, and Tradition – this exclusive tour has it all and this is once in a lifetime opportunity available exclusively by PALACE TOURS

Departures
July 2013 7

All Rates in US$ per person including ALL taxes and surcharges

Class Dates Single Rate Double Rate Triple Rate
Deluxe Suite
For departure July 7,2013 US$ 4,000 US$ 1,990 N/A
Luxury Suite
For departure July 7,2013 US$ 4,250 US$ 2,050 US$ 1,800

Your tour price includes:

  • Five nights on board the luxurious train from Madrid to Zaragoza
  • Suites with attached full bathrooms
  • Breakfast, Lunch and dinner for five nights
  • Beverages, including wine, coffee and liqueurs at meal times
  • Guided excursions in a luxury coach as per the itinerary
  • Entrance fees for museums, cathedrals, etc., as per the itinerary
  • On-board entertainment, including music and parties in the Pub Car
  • English / Spanish / German / French Speaking Guide throughout the tour.

Your tour price excludes:

  • Domestic or international airfare
  • Travel insurance or visa fees
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry and souvenirs
  • Any additional hotel accommodations pre- or post-tour
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as “included”
Terms and Conditions

 

PAYMENT TERMS:
20% of total tour cost due at the time of booking
80% or balance no later than 68 days prior to tour departure date

 

CANCELLATION FEES:

(i) 40% of the total tour value if cancelled more than 68 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS

 

(ii) 100% of the total tour value if cancelled 0-67 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS

 

We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover the losses incurred in case of cancellation. For information on available plans or to purchase travel insurance.

For more information or to book,

click here to contact Traveline

or call us at 1-888-700-TRIP.

Extended Hotel Nights on The Blue Train

The Blue Train, a lifestyle brand is ordinarily visited by certain travellers:

  1. The well-travelled people – who have been there, done that and now The Blue Train or
  2. The aspirant travellers who are hoping to tick off The Blue Train off their “bucket list’.
  3. Special celebration travellers – e.g. honey moon couples, anniversaries, etc.

All the above groups enjoy the finer things in life and in comparison to The Blue Train offering would generally still do the following when they visit South Africa:

  • Fly Business Class between Johannesburg and Cape Town (at a cost of +- R5 849 ($690-00)
  • One nights hotel accommodation in a five star hotel (including breakfast) at an average cost of R 7,239 ($ 853-00)
  • Typical lunch and dinner costs per person at a five star hotel averages R 430 ($51-00) for a meal and a glass of wine.
  • High tea served at a five star hotel costs + R185 ($22-00) per person – could even be more these days)
  • Typical day Kimberley excursion would cost R 115 ($14-00) for the entrance fee and taxi fare.
  • The total costs for this itinerary would average R 13,818-00 ($1,628-00)

The Blue Train is not a mode of transport but rather an all-inclusive experience.  It has been bestowed with a number of accolades – some of which include being voted The World’s Leading Luxury Train in 2011at the World Travel Awards– the third consecutive year it has achieved this honour!

At a comparative total cost of R 11,585-00 ($ 1,365-00) per person sharing to the above, our guests are treated to a 27-hour Blue Train experience which includes:

  • Unsurpassed, world-renowned, luxury travel
  • Five-star accommodation
  • Personalised Butler service – including unlimited room service, minimum laundry service and portage.
  • Unlimited – snacks, gourmet meals, all drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic – including fine wines sourced from top SA winemakers and premium alcoholic brands) and hand-made Cuban cigars.
  • Breathtaking views of the countryside – which allow you to experience parts of the country you would not necessarily appreciate and experience when you fly. Not even the discontinued Concord planes could offer you the ever changing views of the countryside!

WHAT’S NEW

In an effort to maintain and enhance our service offering to our guests, we would like to bring the following to your attention:

  • New Departure Times – Effective from the 1st August 2012, our departure times (from both Pretoria and Cape Town) have been moved forward and will now be 08:30. Guests are requested to check-in an hour prior to departure (08:00 at the latest).

We urge all our clients to refrain from booking any afternoon flights / excursions for their guests subsequent to The Blue Train trip as these may be forfeited should The Blue Train be delayed for any reason.

  • Soft refurbishments have been done on both Blue Train sets – in terms of the re-upholstering of the interior in the public areas; an exercise which is implemented every 3-5 years.

 

VALUE ADD PROMOTIONS

LUXURY BETTER WHEN SHARED VALUE ADD – 1 X COMPLIMENTARY NIGHT’S STAY AT EITHER THE 131 ON HERBERT BAKER PRETORIA OR THE TAJ CAPE TOWN

At the normal Nett or Rack rate, guests get to experience The Blue Train with 1 X complimentary night’s accommodation (bed, breakfast and transfer between the hotel and the station) at either 131 on Herbert Baker in Pretoria OR the Taj Hotel in Cape Town. This special would be available for all new bookings made, paid and guests travelling for the period September – December 2012 and the whole of 2013 (subject to availability). Please note that this offer cannot be used on any discounted rate or combined with any other promotion.

The 131 on Herbert Baker Boutique Hotel is situated in Pretoria and located close to the city centre – with easy access to the highways. This “hidden treasure” offers exquisite interiors, impeccable service and fine cuisine. It overlooks the expansive city of Pretoria and reflects tasteful elegance combined with exceptional attention to detail! Truly South Africa’s best kept secret.

The Taj Cape Town is situated in the historic centre of the city and offers a combination of rich history and elegant contemporary architecture. Originally home to the South African Reserve Bank and Temple Chambers, later the Board of Executors (BOE), it successfully combines the heritage of the old with the luxury of the new. This luxury five-star hotel is ideally located in the centre of historic Cape Town at the entrance to the famous pedestrian precinct, St George’s Mall and is perfectly situated for those looking to discover authentic Cape Town; and its blend of fascinating history, exotic culture, soulful art, lively entertainment and delectable cuisine.

For more information,

click here to contact Traveline

or call us at 1-888-700-TRIP.

Tambo del Inka chosen as the Best Hotel in South America

Effortlessly capture the magic of a land alive with ancient traditions. This is the only hotel in Urubamba with a private train station to Machu Picchu, we go to every length to ensure an indelible stay, offering refined dining, a therapeutic spa, and premier fitness center, along with an emerald lagoon and blooming riverside gardens.

According to TripAdvisor –  Lima, January 19th 2012 – TripAdvisor, the most influential travel site, just announced the Traveller’s Choice Awards for 2012 and Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, was chosen as the Best Hotel in South America and the Nineth Best Around the World. This distinction is based on comments written by demanding travelers on the TripAdvisor website.

Last year, Tambo del Inka was designated one of the best Relaxation/Spa Hotels in Central and South America, a. It ranked seventh on the “Travellers’ Choice Awards 2011” in the Relaxation/Spa Hotel category.

In December 2010, Tambo del Inka obtained its LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), issued by the U.S. Green Building Council. This international certificate is given to buildings in recognition that their design and construction are aimed at environmental sustainability, such as water and energy saving, and every aspect therein is rigorously audited by third parties. Furthermore, it just so happens that Tambo del Inka is the first hotel in Peru to receive this important certification and the second in South America.

Virtuoso Exclusive Benifits:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily buffet breakfast is already included in rates
  • One Thermal Water Circuit Therapy for two per stay (value US$100)