|The view from room 530, Mercure Hotel Hagen...|
Another great thing about the German trains is that you don't have to make your way to the buffet car when you fancied a drink. Fortunately, somebody comes to you to take your order and returns with whatever you decided upon. In my case it was a wonderful orange and vanilla tea.
|Room 530..an 'end of terrace' room, so to speak, and very pleasant|
Not a bad hotel. I wouldn't call it corporate, more 'middle management', the sort of place where, after a company booze-up you come down to the self-service buffet rather sheepishly because the night before you had a few too many and said things you wished you hadn't and now it was time to face the music. You pass the familiar surroundings of the bar you inhabited the night before and every embarassing moment of your debauched evening floods back to you as you scoop a pile of greasy button mushrooms on to your plate, using a slotted spoon, and take a seat in some faraway corner, hoping that all your colleagues have already had their breakfast...until, that is, they turn up, eager to remind you of your appalling behaviour the night before.
|I wonder if the Kemp brothers ever visited Spandau?|
Still, the room was fine, although I had left a window open and, at roughly 4am, the roar of traffic, even five floors up, was enough to wake me up and I didn't really get back to sleep. Having closed the window and drawn the curtain to keep out the light, I tried to sleep but all of a sudden something started up in the bowels of the hotel. It sounded like a ship's engine being fired up, but I wasn't on a ship, I was in a hotel, even if it did boast Bismarck proportions and now sounded a bit like a battleship making its way out of port.
I'm now sitting in the reception area using the hotel's business centre (the lap top is playing up a bit). I've been in my room working all morning and I need to print something out, so I thought I would use the occasion to update the blog.
|We have Pound Shops, the Europeans have EuroShops. This one in Hagen.|
|Woolworth's is alive and well and can be found in Hagen, Germany!|
Later, as I made my way back to the hotel after dinner in town I noticed a man sitting at a bus stop drinking from a bottle of beer – always a bad sign. Earlier I had seen a man taking a leak in a doorway and there's plenty of graffiti around too, making it even more like Croydon. But I'm only talking about the downtown. Take a cab into the suburbs and, like Croydon, it's a different story and quite pleasant.