Usually, when we go on holiday, it’s either an expedition in a roomy, comfortable tent, or a quick weekend trip in a Travelodge or similar. After all, when you’re going away to a city, you’re supposed to spend your time out exploring the town, not admiring the quality of the wallpaper. When we went to Rīga the other year, though, K picked out somewhere more individual for us to stay; and with this year’s trip to Paris, we found another hotel that was more than just a cluster of anonymous magnolia-coloured cells.
It took me until yesterday to realise that there was another bug with the new theme, that nobody had so far noticed. Which isn’t too surprising: it didn’t affect any functionality, and it was only a problem on some days of the week. It’s fixed now, at least.
This week, there aren’t many photos; or, at least, not many cheerful ones. It’s all Bristol in dull January weather. Particularly: photos of the Grosvenor Hotel, the disused hotel, alongside a disused railway embankment, on Temple Gate. It’s due to be knocked down; so here are some photos.
Well, it was due to be knocked down, to make way for a road scheme and a bus stop, before the City Council’s cabinet resigned the other week. What will happen to it now, I don’t know.
A month or so ago, we took a trip to Clevedon, Somerset. I wrote about it at the time, although, I realise now, didn’t explicitly say which town we’d been to. Here, though, are some of the photographs.
And, as that’s not very many, here’s some of Bristol just after Christmas, too:
The summer holiday photos might well all be up online now; but there’s still a bit of a backlog.
In October it was surprisingly hot and sunny; so we had a day out at Weston-super-Mare. Most of the beach was cordoned off for some motorsport event; so we ended up taking pictures of warning signs and derelict buildings.
Don’t drink the water.
I only poured one glass of water from the tap in the hotel. It was a murky shade of brown. After I let it run for a while. One of the notes in the hotel room said, I think, “don’t drink the water,” in Latvian. I’m not entirely sure, but the bathroom and the water were definitely mentioned. As a bottle of water cost about 30p from a shop,* we weren’t overly bothered.
The hotel, though, was sumptuous. A big room, an enormous bed, and lots of dark wood, carved with lions and cherubs. The combination reminded me of Western European Iron Age art; some Iron Age cults apparently worshipped fierce tigers and severed heads, as far as we can tell. Every morning we woke up to lions baring their teeth at us from the wardrobe.
* or over £1 from the hotel minibar
I’ve gone back to university.
No, not like that, I’ve not suddenly gone all intellectual again. This week, though, I’m staying in one.
When I was planning this trip down to London, an internet acquaintance contacted me and said: “why don’t you stay at a university? It’ll be cheaper than a hotel.” So, I went and booked a room at Shoreditch University’s Ripper Hall,* to relive my university days.
Of course, I never actually stayed in a hall at university, so I’m not really reliving anything. There’s something common to all university accomodation, though. The cheap, cheerful decor, designed to be easily replaced or cleaned at the end of the year. The slightly broken fittings. The dubious stains on the carpet. All very familiar from my university days. There’s a couple of slight concessions to tourism: free soap and shampoo in the bathroom,** and coffee-making equipment: a small tray with a built-in kettle, a single cup, and little sachets of instant coffee and sugar. If you have any visitors, they have to be signed in and out at the front desk – full name and address on the form, please – and definitely have to be out by 11pm at the latest. It’s not bad, as accomodation goes, but it does feel a little blank and soulless compared to most hotels I’ve visited. And given the level of hotel I usually stay in, but that’s saying something.
* No, it’s not really called that.
** “Complimentary toiletries are not replaced during your stay”, the visitor instructions warn.