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Discovering the Castles of Bavaria

..Fairytale castles, royal residences and a busload of international travellers! What more could you ask for? Yes, you may have guessed already! It’s another exciting adventure with Expat Club. This time, I travelled in a beautiful, double-decker coach to Bavaria, in the South of Germany, from Wednesday afternoon 29 May to Sunday evening 2 June. On the road to Würzburg –  Würzburg is known as the entry point to “The Romantic Road.” For us, it was the entry point to a five-day fantasy trip! With a late afternoon departure and a dinner stop en route, we headed southeast. We arrived in Würzburg just before midnight and settled into our comfortable hotel. The next morning, after a nice buffet breakfast, we drove into the charming town centre to discover what makes Würzburg so magical. &n...

Top 15 must-see Expat Club destinations

After six years of organising Expat Club trips, I am quite happy when I look at our destinations map. We’ve been to well over 100 destinations, including cities, museums, regions, mountain tops, beaches, Christmas markets, waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints, castles and many more famous and less-known landmarks. I believe all places we visit are worth seeing, but now I put my brains at work to really think about what are the absolute must-see destinations we have been already and will definitely return to.  While compiling this list, I must admit that I feel doing injustice to many wonderful places we visited before but that didn’t make it to their list. In fact, all places we’ve been before deserve to be visited. There is a history to each and every one of them. There are storie...

A trip to Champagne Paradise

Champagne! It’s the universal beverage of celebration, and it was a day of celebration when Expat Club traveled to France on 14 April. Champagne lovers from over two dozen countries to came to taste the drink of the gods. We came from all over the world for a tour of France’s Champagne region. A Bus to Champagne Paradise Now, if you’re like me, when you hear bus tour, you balk. Maybe it’s because you envision traveling on that little yellow school bus you remember from your childhood. Au contraire! Bus travel is so much easier than the hassle of getting to the airport hours early, waiting in long security lines and facing possible strikes or flight delays — and Expat Club travels in style. We cruised comfortably on a luxury coach from Lauwers, complete with reclining seats and footrests. T...

The Cathedrals of Europe

Yesterday’s fire at the Notre Dame in Paris was not only a shock to the Parisians and French people, but also to the rest of the world. Cathedrals, unlike any other building except for castles, have stood the test of time. But where castles have remained closed but for the happy few, at least until recently, Cathedrals have welcomed billions of visitors over many centuries, including countless tourists (13 million per year for this church alone). The destruction of a great part of this Paris landmark saddens us all. Most of the people in the Expat Club community have visited this incredible structure, possibly even multiple times. During the many Expat Club trips to Paris, our groups always stopped at the Eastern end of the Île de la Cité. Just to look and be amazed by the iconic towers an...

Winter Weekend Ski

Our planned ski trip from Friday evening 12 to Sunday 14 January may take place after all! Read on At the moment of writing, the temperatures are dropping fast in Eastern France and more fresh snow is expected (18-25 cm by Friday!). The trend is also positive, meaning the forecasts are continuously adapted to even lower temperatures (nicely below 0) + increasingly better snow predictions. This means the chances for a ski trip from Friday evening (17h30 departure) to Sunday evening are going up dramatically! PRE-REGISTER NOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN, ALSO IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN THE WEEK AFTER (19-21 JANUARY). This is for free, and without obligations, but we’ll inform you the first (it will fill up quickly). Nice ski area with 40+ km of blue, red and black slopes Modern ski lifts ...

Expat Club visits Christo lecture

It is not very common that an artist of the like of Christo comes to Brussels. There are not many artists that can equal the length of his career (about half a century, he’s 82 years old now). There are probably none that can match the scale of his works. Think the wrapping of the German Reichstag, the covering of 2,5 kilometers of Australian coast, and a 40km clothed fence that ran through Northern California. Expat Club had the pleasure to join this great event with a full first balcony row.   A sold out Flagey Studio 4 Theater with 800 people welcomed the world-famous artist with a huge applause on Monday 23 October at about 19h20. Sponsored by ING Belgium, he started going over his carreer that spans half a century. My initial idea was that his earlier works could have been his later w...

Join our team

Expat Club’s membership base and activities are expanding quickly. Therefore we are looking for enthusiastic new members that would like to strengthen the organisational team behind all our events and trips. We are especially keen to offer more local member events during the week and weekends, so our other members can come and join our activities at various days.. In particular we are looking for committed people that would like to host: a) regular coffee meetups on Saturday morning and Monday or Wednesday morning (many members don’t have work commitments) b) socialising events on weekday evenings (bars / pubs) c) movie nights on Sunday evening, or eventually Wednesday evenings for new blockbusters d) weekend morning walks or longer hikes in Brussels or Belgium e) day trips to ...

Expat Club Christmas Trips

In 2016 we organises for the 4th year trips to some of the best Christmas markets that we can reach in a day. We started in 2013 with fantastic trips to Düsseldorf and Paris. In 2014 we added Cologne and Lille. Last year (2015) we skipped Lille, but added Monschau, Canterbury and Aachen. This we year are proud to present Lille again on our calendar and add four new destinations: Maastricht, Trier, Valkenburg and even a weekend trip to Strasbourg. All our trips are carried out with 4* coaches with more leg space than the usual Belgian buses. All coaches have reclining comfort seats with footrests, an on-board toilet, air-conditioning and several flatscreens. We normally gather at Place Schuman, and depending on the destination we may also stop elsewhere in town (e.g. Louise, Midi and Yser) ...

City of museums

Brussels may not be the largest European capital, but culturally it has relatively a lot to offer. The Wikipedia list of museums in our town shows no less than 83 of them! How many have you been to yet? I personally still have some “been there, done that” to do, although I know that visiting museums is more than crossing them of your list. Each of them has its own history, its own purpose and has a special story to tell. They are part of the city, and discovering these places should therefore be one of your priorities for integrating into Brussels. To give you some ideas, here is a top-10 list of the definite must-sees (in random order). 1. Autoworld This museum is a true Valhalla for car lovers. Not less than 250 vehicles from all around the world are on display, spanning over one century...

€83,13 for Samu Social

Expat Club members and Expat Club have donated €83,13 to Samu Social Bruxelles. During our Christmas trip to Monschau on 29 November 2015 we visited the Monschauer Glasshütte for a magnificent glassblowing demonstration. Although the first group could witness how a several magnificent glass sculptures were created, the second batch unfortunately could not attend due to a problem with the heating system of the oven. Many participants therefore donated their prepaid fees to SamuSocial, a nonprofit organisation that focuses on the needs of homeless people in Brussels. Expat Club multiplied that amount with 25% to a total of well over €80. Samu Social operates a free phone number for people in need, mobile emergency teams, emergency shelter, psycho-social guidance and free medical consultation...

What’s the fuss about the bus?

Travelling by bus is comfortable and safe, but there are many rules a bus company has to adhere to. We sometimes explain this during trips so you understand why we depart at certain times or stop at specific points and intervals. Here are some key rules: A driver may drive 9 hours per day and once per week 10 hours. A driver may work 15 hours per day. If the driver leaves by 07h00 from the garage, he must return by 22h00. A driver may drive 4,5 hours in one go. After that he needs to rest minimal 45 minutes, or he should take his rest in 2 sessions of 15 en 30 minutes. The length of the day may be extended in two ways. First, if the driver has a resting period of 9 hours in between the outbound and inbound journeys. Second, if the driver is accompanied by a second driver the total length o...

Expat Club at Paris Air Show

It is really unfortunate the Paris Air Show only takes place once every two years, because this is definitely one of the most impressive events on the continent. Thousands of exhibitors, over 150 special aircraft on display and an a-ma-zing air show. Expat Club managed to choose the most horrible day of the year in terms of weather, but all the rain and wind couldn’t stop us from enjoying the flight demonstrations of an unusually spectacular array of aircraft. The Airbus A-380, the largest passenger airplane. What a graceful beauty. A short lift-off, very silent and apparently super easy to fly. Once the largest passenger airplane. After over half a century, and only one of two remaining flying machines in the world, this magnificent plane was one of the top attractions at Bourget. T...