Parts & Accessories

High Culture in Europe in the new Endeavour B62 – Part 2

23rd February 2024 | Andy Torbet
Green open space, sturdy walking boots, rugged trousers, and hardy waterproofs. A typical image when you think of camping holidays. Many tend to think less of the high culture associated with camping—fine wines, art galleries, sculptures, the ballet, or opera. Join Andy Torbet and Bex Biggins on their trip across Northern Europe to prove how simple it is to experience more 'formal events' from the comfort of a campervan!

Our next stop was Brussels, the capital of Belgium and a short drive away. Like Bruges, the inner city of Brussels is well-preserved and dates from the period 11th-17th Century. There is only one campsite within the city, a pilot scheme set up by the local council. It is currently a secure car park with no amenities. However, having won a European Travel Award for the scheme, the plan is to enhance and expand it. It only allows motorhomes and campervans that are self-sufficient, so the fact that the Endeavour is built for more ‘off-grid’ living with features like the solar panel running the 12v fridge was a huge bonus.

In Burge, there is only one campsite within the city, a pilot scheme set up by the local council.

The location is helpful to urban campers as it is just around the corner from an underground station with a line that takes one directly into the centre of Brussels and The Grand Place. Also known as the Grand Market, this is a perfect place to begin. The towering square is surrounded by Gothic and Neo-Gothic buildings, some as tall as 110 metres. It is worth visiting by day and again by night as, although offering very different landscapes, both are equally inspiring. We continued to ramble around the outskirts of the Grand Place to view the collection of statues and sculptures dotted around the streets. The most famous are the Manneken Pis, and his less well-known sister, the Flameken Pis.

The Grand Place, the centre of Brussels

Like Bruges, there is plenty of opportunity to sample the historical brewing, and a firm recommendation would be the A La Becausse, one of the oldest in Brussels. Tucked away down a narrow alley off the main square, this old tavern consists of three long tables and would not be out of place in a scene from Lord of The Rings. We visited Brussels during the annual street party celebrating the University when decades of alumni hit the town for a gigantic pub crawl. This meant the pub was crowded with cheery souls, all singing traditional songs. The pub would usually have been closed on this day of the week, but the descending hordes, and the fact that this is a favourite haunt of past students, meant it opened specially and allowed us in. After a rambunctious final night in Brussels, trying to sing along to local songs without a clue what the words were or meant, we slept well to awake and head to not only a new city but a new country.

A La Becausse, one of the oldest pubs in Brussels.

Our campsite in Cologne was perfectly situated a little rustic. Again, it only allowed motorhomes and campervans with self-sufficient toilet facilities. So, our choice of the Endeavour worked well. The entrance allowed for water to be taken on board and the site has metered electrics, but a long cable or extension is advised if you visit (the site is called Reisemoobilhafen Koln if you’re trying to find it). Although the amenities were basic and the ‘pitches’ (you get a parking space) the location is about as good as it gets for city-camping. We faced onto the Rhine and looked out over the East bank of Cologne. It was a single pace from our pitch only to the river path which takes you to the Dom Platz (Cathedral Place or Square). However, at the entrance to the campsite is somewhere to hire electric scooters, so we took the faster, and more fun, method into the centre. A journey of around 7 minutes.

Camping at Reisemoobilhafen Koln

Cologne Cathedral is one of the most impressive buildings I have seen and took Centuries to build. It is the largest Gothic building in Northern Europe, Germany’s most visited attraction, and the tallest twin-spired church in the world at over 150 meters. It took over 600 years to complete and contains religious iconography from across this period, including a cross from 960 AD and a shrine containing, supposedly, remains of the Three Wise Men. We booked a tour but had an hour to wait, so we popped around the corner to one of the many bierkellers where leather-aproned men served local lager. You get one choice, in 1/3-pint glasses, and continually pop around to top you up.

'Cologne Cathedral is one of the most impressive buildings I have seen'

Our cultural highlight of Cologne, and possibly the whole trip, was an evening at the Koln Philharmonic. An impressive concert venue where a countertenor was performing his shows. It was a chance to don my Dinner Jacket, something unusual when based on a campervan, and have an evening of high culture and classical entertainment.

The Koln Philharmonic called for a Dinner Jacket!

The trip, with its basic, city-centre-based campsites, some of which had no amenities, was a great first look at the Endeavour and its off-grid capability. Because, despite the fact one normally associates off-grid with wild places, it’s about facilities. And we had little to none. It was a great example that it is only one’s imagination and ambitions that set what can and can’t be done when camping, not the location or the activities. Our highly cultured trip, with its architecture, art, and music only proves camping is a tool to support you in what you enjoy, be it open space or opera, fresh air frescoes, mountain peaks, or monumental cathedrals. Or all the above because like the versatility and freedom of the new Endeavour – we are all more than one thing.

Previous


High Culture in Europe in the New Endeavour B62 – Part 1

Next


News & Events

Latest news & events

See all news & events

Apr 19
Apr 21

Grantham's Bailey Preview Event

SPITTLEGATE LEVEL
GRANTHAM


Apr 20
Apr 21

Caravan Tech Open Weekend

LONDON ROAD, HURST GREEN, EAST SUSSEX


Apr 27
Apr 28

The Leisure Sales Caravan & Camping Spring Show 2024

BRERETON GREEN, SANDBACH, CHESHIRE


Apr 01
Apr 30

April Spring Offers at United British Caravans

SANDY LANE, NORTH GOSFORTH, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE