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Would you now travel to Brugges?

(19 Posts)
Wiifitmama Sat 21-Nov-15 19:29:47

We are booked to go on the 22nd December for a week on Eurostar via Brussels. Non refundable tickets but this is not about the money. We are doing a home exchange (we are experienced exchangers) and the other family still want to come here despite the recent events.

We cannot adopt a wait and see attitude unfortunately as it is not fair to the other family. I live in central London and up until today have taken the attitude that it is no more risky in Belgium than it is in London. However, today's news has made me feel differently. Even friends who travel regularly to Paris and Brussels for work have had all work trips curtailed for the foreseeable future which is making me nervous.

I know our risk of actually being involved in a terrorist event are small. I am worried beyond that to disruption on transport, being stuck etc.

What do you all think?

lljkk Sat 21-Nov-15 19:31:25

Sorry, which part of today's news makes it suddenly must ban going?

I was more worried about migrants breaking into Eurostar at Calais myself.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 21-Nov-15 19:32:12

I'm due to go to Bruges for work on December 19th. I was happy to go, but work insurance are not happy at all and it's highly likely that they'll not cover any trips there until January. That did make me think.

Wiifitmama Sat 21-Nov-15 19:37:26

Interesting point Anchor. Our travel insurance is through my husband's work. I will need to check that.

Lljkk - it's the part of the news where they have raised the terror threat in Brussels as high as it can go and shut the whole city down

lljkk Sat 21-Nov-15 21:38:01

Ah. I was in Brussels a few days ago, when the threat level was one step down from what it is now. It felt fine to me, ordinary, plenty of Japanese tourists especially. Eurostar plenty busy. Shops open etc. It's Sunday tomorrow anyway so will be shut down for other reasons.

UnGoogleable Sat 21-Nov-15 21:49:59

What were you planning to do whilst you were in Brugges? If you were thinking of going to the main tourist attractions, then you might want to think twice. But if you're just cosying up in a house and spending Christmas there, then it should be fine.

I appreciate you can't change your mind at the last minute for the sake of the other people coming to stay at your place - but as a last ditch alternative, could you afford to go somewhere else instead - i.e. let the Brugges people come to your house, but go and rent a holiday home somewhere else...?

I realise you'd be paying twice for somewhere, but it could give you peace of mind that you can wait until nearer the time then if it really does look dodgy, you have an alternative.

Yika Sat 21-Nov-15 21:57:13

Well I'm in Brussels and I must say that today it does not feel like it did 'a few days ago' here. But the threat level in Bruges is not as high. And you would travel straight onwards from Brussels presumably.

So, I think I would still go, especially if you are doing a home exchange where you won't be staying on the main square for example. I might not go to a crowded Christmas market. But if you can hunker down at home some of the time, walk along the quiet canals and back streets, enjoy some Belgian cuisine... it really is a lovely destination and I think things will be calmer by then.

BrianButterfield Sat 21-Nov-15 22:00:56

Bruges is not a big city and not especially close to Brussels. There are no big malls or shops for example as it is mostly arranged around small squares. I'd go - you could always take the ferry into Zeebrugge if you felt wary of the Eurostar (I'd say the Gare du Nord at Brussels would be the most worrying part of the journey for me in this climate).

financialwizard Sat 21-Nov-15 22:01:08

Check your insurance. Personally though I'd still go.

Has everyone forgotten about the IRA and that we used to live under permanent threat?

LyndaNotLinda Sat 21-Nov-15 22:06:17

Brian - I think you mean the Gare du Midi as that's the main international station.

I wouldn't worry OP. Brugge is in Flanders and a long way from Brussels. And it's a month away.

If the trains are buggered, there's lots of other ways to get to Brugge.

But really, a month from now, this will all have died down. And if it hasn't, it will have escalated to such a degree that your insurance will cover you.

Thatrabbittrickedme Sat 21-Nov-15 22:19:46

Bruges and Brussels are not the same place. I would still plan to go unless something like today's high alert in Brussels was in place in Bruges at the time I were traveling.

Right now the alert is only Brussels, not unreasonable to keep your plans in place and change them only if the situation changes. You could drop out of the agreement for someone else to take it up and still cancel last minute if circumstances change...

Torchlight86 Mon 23-Nov-15 14:50:40

I was due to take a ferry to Bruges tomorrow for a murder mystery night and then on to a xmas market on Wednesday. Me and my friend have decided not to go, the main reasons are as follows

Firstly although Brussels and Bruges are not the same place they are in the same place, and I feel that with Brussels itself being on full lock down, schools, concerts etc closed it is more likely that they will move on to smaller less guarded places in the same country (I am aware that it is impossible to second guess these people or their plans, it's more that if j feel like they'd do that then that's what I'm going to be expecting the whole time I'm there, thus ruining my trip!)

Secondly the current terror alert is critical and imminent and they have gone on record saying they have very reliable information that there will be a multi location attack like in Paris!

Thirdly I know you're not travelling on a ferry but it has also been highlighted in the news that ferries are a massive target for terror attacks due to the high concentration of people in a relatively small area and the much lower security on them in comparison with planes etc

This is just my opinion and I understand everyone will judge things differently but I myself know I will not enjoy my time there and therefore there is no point in me going, I am going to try for a refund but do not hold out much hope as they have not issued a no travel warning.

All that being said it's a while until you go and things could easily and quickly change for the better or the worst. Although I understand your predicament with the other family

I imagine the chances of something happening while you are there is quite low, but not impossible! So my advice would be not to try and second guess if and when something might happen, but think about whether you're actually going to enjoy your time there or whether you're going to be worried and panicking the whole time spending the whole time hiding in door for fear of going somewhere crowded or busy, if the latter is the case then in my eyes there's no point in going, holidays are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable times and you're better off at home if you're not going to get the most out of it! X

Queenbean Mon 23-Nov-15 14:54:40

I spent this weekend in Brussels, lock down and all, it was fine

Yes I would travel to Bruges definitely. It's like saying "I'm worried about London, should I still travel to Oxford?". Yes, obviously.

Torchlight86 Mon 23-Nov-15 15:09:29

It's not always so 'obvious' just because they are believed to be in a certain place it doesn't mean they can't move! They managed to get out of Paris! The truth is none of us know where they are, what they are planning next and where, if London were on lock down as Brussels is, would I be worried about being in crowds or tourist areas in Oxford? Yes obviously! But that's just me, if you wouldn't then that's fine too! There's no right or wrong it's just down to what you personally see as safe or unsafe, it seems a bit of a guessing game! x

TwistedReach Mon 23-Nov-15 15:19:08

ljkk:I was more worried about migrants breaking into Eurostar at Calais myself.

Maybe meant to be a light comment- but you do realise that those people are traumatised, have escaped Hell on Earth and are now left freezing like animals in the limbo of the calais 'jungle'? There are babies and small children there and in the last two weeks there have been two big fires and children teargassed by French Police.

Perhaps there should be worry for the people desperate enough to risk their lives (and often die) jumping on to the tunnel that we use for the luxury of holidays.

lljkk Mon 23-Nov-15 16:48:43

I was worried about the migrant breakins causing many-hour delays so that I had to sleep on the floor at Liverpool street station (better case scenario) or the migrants trekking down the chunnel might drop something on the line that caused a high speed train to derail.

Correct that I am only worrying about me & mine.

revealall Sun 29-Nov-15 00:09:18

Twisted- that is so but how many of our underpriviedged have escaped misery and trauma from neglect and a survive homes and are a danger to themselves and others.

Many refugees have been through hell beyond that. Don't understand why we assume they will be well balanced, grateful individuals.

I would be less worried about travel in London or Brussels.as there are well practiced drills and good emergency services in the event I was caught up with something. Brugge? Who knows. How many hospitals etc dies it have.

revealall Sun 29-Nov-15 00:10:23

Sorry very poor posting re spelling etc.

TwistedReach Tue 01-Dec-15 18:33:54

revealall I dont understand your point.

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