The English Bridge Union, together with an Overseas Tour Operator, organizes two congresses per year at overseas locations. The members who attend look upon the event as good bridge in a holiday location, and it is therefore more relaxed than other congresses and attracts players of all abilities.
The October event has generally been in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the February event has either been in the Southern Med, North Africa, Madeira or one of the Canary Islands. The chosen venue for October 2011 is the island of Kos, and I made an inspection visit in early May.
The 5* Iberostar Kipriotis Panorama at Psalidi near Kos town certainly lived up to expectations - a modern luxury hotel with many traditional architectural features.
Space is no problem here with large lounge and dining areas both inside and out and a superb bridge centre. A new feature this year is the rooftop sunset bar with its magnificent views across the straits to Turkey. This view can be seen from most parts of the hotel complex.
Kos town is pretty and vibrant with lots of tavernas, restaurants and archaeological sites but not as commercialised as many Aegean holiday destinations. Visit the site of the Asclepion (one of the worlds first hospitals) on the hillside overlooking the town.
There is a regular bus service (approx. every 15 mins.) into Kos town that stops at the end of the hotel drive. Another travel option is to go by bicycle. Hire from near the hotel to take advantage of the many designated cycle paths into Kos town and along the coast.
I was very impressed with all aspects of my visit and hope that as many as possible will join us on what could be one of the best overseas events so far.
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