Monday, May 11, 2009

day 7 - Hameln and the Pied rip-off

was yesterday in Potsdam to good to be true?
i guess so…
our good luck streak came to a crashing halt in Hameln
touted as the city of the Pied Piper
a charming little town with cobblestone streets and half timbered houses
we thought it would be great to take Gavin hear
we found out Hameln was in fact a tourist trap
cleverly devised to rope in suckers like ourselves who didn’t know any better
i guess we’ve seen too much of the “real” Germany to go for it
we knew right away we’d been duped
thank you German tour book for recommending it!!
it all started at the Hotel Mercure
over priced and shoddy looking
(a recurring theme for the rest of the city)
our room looked like something from Georgia
and i don’t mean the one with Atlanta
at over 100 euros a night you’d think it would be more than decent
it wasn’t
after seeing our dreadful room i went back to the front desk and asked if they could
possibly move us or maybe we could even pay an upgrade (to another Hotel?)
“sorry, un kinder bed is in your room”
that’s ok he can sleep in a double with us
“but um, we have no category for that…”
what does that mean? no category?
it just means to me you don’t care if your customer is happy or not…
thanks Mercure (or should i say Hotel Russia number 2?)

the next chain of events went like this
we walked to the tourist information office
it was closed
then we walked to the old town center
it was over-run with people and crummy shops selling tacky clothes
we walked to the river because i thought it might be more tranquil there
perhaps lined with bistros where we could eat outside and look at some pretty scenery
the river was lined with concrete
we walked back to the center
and tried to find a restaurant
all the menus were full of desert items or pig dishes
we finally settled on one out of desperation
Jayme and i both ordered a tuna sandwich
what we got was a can of tune emptied on a stale piece of bread
with a cucumber on top
for the nice price of 7 euros
i couldn’t eat it
it was disgusting
we paid our 22 euro bill and left having had no lunch
Jayme had only slept a couple of hours the night before in Hotel Russia
so we walked back to the Hotel to regroup
G and i let J try and sleep for a little bit while we took a walk to try
and find something nice
we came back an hour later empty handed
all i found was a graveyard and an old folks home
i then spent an hour online trying to find a hotel in Krefeld
because we realized tomorrow could be even worse with the promoter
coughing up an underwhelming 50e for Russia Hotel number 3
i found something nice about 15 minutes out of town and booked it
i’m not taking any chances
around 6:30
we ventured back out for dinner
the streets had cleared so the town looked considerably better
still not very charming but better
we ate in a restaurant our tour book recommended called Ambrosia (one of J’s most loathed words)
that should have served as warning enough
the food was terrible and in keeping with the theme for the day
way over priced
it made me wonder who the hell wrote that tour book we got this info out of
i might have to send them a personal message when i get back
write my own!!
we walked back to Hotel Russia number 2
got some ice cream for J and G
not the best day we’ve ever had
that’s for sure
but at least we're together
nothing bad happened
it was just disappointing
and in the grand scheme of things i'll take disappointed any day of the week
over the slew of much worse things that can happen


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