|Er, tone it down a bit! Room 207, Friends Hotel, Dusseldorf, Germany|
When I reached my hotel – the Friends Hotel on Worringer Strasse – I was full of so much gas from the dark ale that I could almost have floated to my room, but I had to check in first. It was all very efficient, but then I was in Germany where, fortunately, everything works, trains arrive and depart on time and everybody seems to be driving a decent German automobile.
|Because tourists are money! The main square in Bruges, Belgium|
Eager to sort out my digestive problem I headed straight for the bathroom – a shocking white affair with a black and white framed photograph of Twiggy looking surprised to see – she had an even bigger surprise coming, I thought, as I gulped down a bottle of complimentary Evian mineral water, lit the blue touch paper and waited. It all went smoothly bar a moment of panic when I thought I'd blocked the toilet. Horrific visions of calling up a member of staff to sort it out crossed my mind but, fortunately my fears were all in vain as suddenly the water level receded and all was well with the world.
I'm in Room 207 and it's a pleasant enough space if I ignore the brightly-coloured decor. The main thing is that everything works and the guy on the front desk even had an adaptor for me and it worked! I plugged in my iphone to charge it and then, grabbing glasses, money and a credit card I headed outside to check out the restaurant scene... only to discover that I was in kebab land. Better make that 'kebap' land. And there were only men in the restaurants, groups of them in denims, trainers and open neck shirts exposing hairy chests chatting, I could have been in Istanbul or the Yemen.
|A short distance from the main square, but still very much in Bruges.|
I ordered pasta with mushrooms and a glass of red wine – no wine list was produced, just a fairly generous glass of red wine and some bread rolls. But it was good food and much welcomed, although I had considered simply hitting the sack until I realised how little I had eaten today. The bill came to EUR15.00 but I liked the place so I gave the waiter a 10 Euro tip and then made my way back to the hotel from where I now write this blog post.
Oddly, at night, the wild colour scheme of the room seemed muted (unless I switched on a light). What I do like is the guest book for room 207. Shortly after arriving I flicked through it and found the comments of other guests who had spent the night in this very room. Half of them were written in foreign languages I didn't understand, but there was one from Jan and Natalie – 'Lancashire Girls, UK' who now live in County Mayo in Ireland. They even drew a funny face. Their message was clear, that the Friends Hotel was beautiful and had friendly staff and there was a small piece of advice for guests like me: the caff next door offered superb ice cream. They were only here for one night, but say that they hope to be back for longer in the not-to-distant future. I'm looking forward to adding my comment, but I'll wait until I've stayed here a little longer before I put pen to paper. Or perhaps I'll do it now.
Just a word on that caff next door. Earlier I'd considered it for my evening meal but my first impression was that it might be an ice cream parlour. But then I saw a blackboard advertising pasta and soup and ciabatta, but it didn't appeal, not for an evening meal at any rate, but I might take up Jan and Natalie's advice and check out the ice cream – but not until I've exercised, stretched my legs and possibly even hired a bicycle (I need to check the availability of a bike share scheme).
Right now it's time to hit the sack. With such bright colours I'm not planning on setting my alarm clock as I'm sure the purple curtains and striped carpets will wake me up as soon as daylight dawns.