I’m expecting Naomi back at any moment, but thought I’d share some photographs from some fun travels. This hotel is in Hamburg, Germany. There is a beautiful spa in the middle of the hotel, and a very fun water slide! When my daughters were younger, we enjoyed tagging along with my husband on his business trips to Hamburg. The girls would spend hours taking the elevator up to the top of the slide, and riding it down. (I may have enjoyed a few slide trips also).
This hotel is still used by my husband on business trips, but it has typical good points and bad points found with many European hotels.
There is no air conditioning. I know, poor Americans can’t live without their air conditioning, but the hotel does not offer even a fan. When we visited one summer it was a heat wave and the temps were close to 100 F. The spa with water slide was the only way to cool off.
Nights I thought “well open a window”. Sadly the hotel is right across from the train station in Hamburg, and at night becomes a notorious district with drug deals, homeless people fighting and Eastern European prostitutes. We aren’t talking the romanticized life of the legal prostitute one reads about in Germany. The illegal prostitute is still an institution in every major European city.
When we lived in Europe it was a great debate just what to do with these women, many of whom were only girls, that were brought into Western Europe to walk the streets. The answer to why men, with the availability of legal prostitution would engage the services of an illegal streetwalker were debated in the press. Point was, the illegal ones were younger, more open to unsafe sexual practices, and cheaper. It seems you can’t legislate the world’s oldest profession. Sadly, fights between the women and their pimps, or between the women (and young men prostitutes) and their customers, would come wafting into the hotel window at night. So the window was shut.
During cooler times, the hotel is about perfect. Close to the main shopping area and many museums, the location during the day is wonderful. The spa also was a good educational experience for my daughters. Germans love to take their clothing off. While my daughters and myself chose not to undress, everyone else took off their clothing. Germans also enjoy eating, so the view of so many less than perfect bodies happily waddling around and sitting in a pool or lounging was a lesson in accepting yourself for who you are. Since the hotel was usually filled with middle age and older men, who were not following doctors orders about their cholesterol, I hoped the girls were too traumatized.
The best thing about the hotel was the included breakfast. You soon learn just why the men in the spa looked the way they did. Fatty lunch meats and delicious sausages galore, cheeses, deep fried potatoes and varieties of bacon I had never dreamed existed were spread before the hungry breakfast crowd. You wouldn’t want to eat a breakfast like that every morning, but for the sake of cultural enrichment we would stuff ourselves silly. The girls and I would waddle around Hamburg, skipping lunch as we were so calorie and fat laden. Dinner of course was more of the same, but so delicious. We did learn quickly that white spread in the bowl wasn’t butter, it was pure lard. We slathered it on our rolls anyway, it’s the local custom! It was even better than butter. (We’re talking real lard here, not that crap you get at the grocery store).
(Now let’s keep our fingers crossed Naomi can give us an update from the Galapagos and Amazon!)
- Crazy hotels in the pipeline: under water, in a crater …The most exceptional hotel projects, which could become real one day (hotelprojectsworldwide.com)
- The world’s largest inflatable water slide (lostateminor.com)