Monday, January 09, 2006

Nuremburg + Rothenburg = 1 Hell of a Day


An intended early start was actually me waking around 10:30 (no chance of making the 7:30 a.m. to Rothenburg Ob de Tauber), eating a leisure breakfast of leftover everything I hadn’t already eaten (didn’t want to pack it, didn’t want to waste it), and checking out around noon. I caught the 12:50 to Ausbach where I got on a connection to Stusbach, and finally, the 20 minute commuter to Rothenburg (on the Tiber). I had a reservation at the Top Goldenes Fass Hotel for 3 nights at 77 euros/night. I was under the impression that this particular establishment was inside the medieval city walls and an “authentic” Rothenburg experience. Sadly, it was neither.
But before I continue, let us take a moment to understand why this was such a problem for Serena…
Last May, before leaving for Paris, my sister and I had begun plans for Christmas in Italy. She loves Italy and I’ve never been. We were going to ‘full court press’ several cities and gorge on gelato and vino. Unfortunately, grad school has proven to be more difficult than she had anticipated; she was unable to join me for the break. No one was able to join me for the break.
I did receive a few invitations (from friends/family), but all too late to prepare or save up. Going home was not an option. I had my heart set on Christmas in Europe. I was going to have Christmas in Europe.
After perusing the Rick Steves’ Website, and flipping through my Lonely Planet guide, I decided on Bavaria with a few days in Berlin. I was going to hostel my way through Bavaria with the exception of wherever I stayed for the holiday: I wanted to treat myself and stay somewhere really nice for Christmas—if I was going it alone, I was going it alone in style. I was going to stay in a clean, cozy room, with a bathtub, and spend hours in it pruning the tips of my fingers and toes. I was going to sleep naked under the toasty down comforter, and walk barefoot on the carpeted floors*.
So, fast-forward to Christmas Eve day…
The Top Goldenes Fass was a clean and tidy establishment with a friendly staff dressed in floral aprons with ruffles on the shoulders, and feathered mullets on their heads. The lobby and restaurant were decorated with wicker baskets full of silk flowers, cows, and scary, handmade Christmas elves. My room, small but tidy, had red veneered furniture, polyester bed linens, and a view of the gravel parking lot. They did not have Internet services. They did not have spa services.
You might be wondering why I was upset—and I was upset. I was very upset. This was the German equivalent of a Super 8, or Red Roof. It was nothing like its online description (no lectures, please. I am aware of the risk one runs booking online). I hated it. Spent about 5 minutes getting angry at reception, dropped my stuff off in my room, and headed into the Old Town to find another.
And therein lies my mistake. I should’ve taken one look at the lobby, and turned and ran. But I actually checked-in and gave them all of my information.
I did find another room—easily, in the hotel I had originally tried to stay in, but couldn’t book online. The Reichs Kuchenmiester Hotel is situated in the heart of the city. It is an ancient building with ambiance coming out of its carved wood-paneled ass. The staff was professional and clean cut. They all spoke English, German, and French. The hotel has a sauna, pool, and gym; and it has an arrangement with a day spa a few doors down. It was exactly what the Top Goldenes Fass was not.
I took their last room, and returned to the Top to check-out. I walked through the front door, and immediately went to reception. I told the woman at the front desk I was happy to pay for this evening as I had already checked in, and hadn’t given her the required 24-hour notice, but did not expect to pay for the two remaining nights. I was, however, happy to pay the nominal cancellation fee of 20 euros. Surprised, she looked at me, and said, “I am not going to charge you a cancellation fee; you have already checked-in. But I do have to charge you for tonight and tomorrow.” After discussing with her how unreasonable this was (I was giving her notice with a smile), she left to talk to her manager, returned and charged me 158 euros for two nights.
Nauseous from anger and burned from the second impulsive room change in several days, I stormed to my new room, and stewed for a few hours. But this was where I wanted to stay. I decided to forget about it until the tourist office opened the next day, and dress for dinner.


* luxuries I am currently without in Caen.

11 Comments:

Blogger The Dark Pig said...

What did you where for dinner?

Hell, what are you wearing now?

4:01 AM  
Blogger UrbanCannibal said...

I'm still waiting for my filthy pictures, Dollface. This COULD answer the Pig's question as well.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Sorry about your troubles. It seems you can't escape them in Europe. I have these books here, still waiting for your reply. Also, are you still guranteed to live in the French house next year? Let me know.

7:14 PM  
Blogger The Dark Pig said...

Eric and Serena sitting in a tree... where are you staying... I want to stalk you. Please call me. I like books.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I wonder who will get what they asked for first? Will urban cannibal get his dirty pictures before eric gets a reply on the books? Hmmm.

10:08 PM  
Blogger The Dark Pig said...

The plot thickens... who would win in a fight - creepy porno guy or creepy stalker?

Only Serena knows...

2:36 AM  
Blogger JgStephan said...

Do you have visit Munich and the Bavaria Film Studios?

10:53 AM  
Blogger Serena said...

Eric, send me an e-mail.
Stephan, it's coming,
UC, clearly, you are having fun enough on your own-- making your own.
Pig, what do you want me to be wearing?

5:41 PM  
Blogger UrbanCannibal said...

Downgraded below The Pig on a count of home made pornography, for shame!

1:49 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

time for a new post Serena. I am tired of clicking on ads fro hotels in Rothenburg and germany travel.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous SueAsian said...

I know they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. But I am tired of initiating in this relationship. I feel neglected and frankly, unwanted. I keep telling myself that I am worthy of love! I am beautiful, funny and vivactious - I am worthy!

Anyway. I wanted to be the first to tell you that I am moving on. Laura has been around a lot lately and well... love the one you're with right? It just seemed natural and our relationship has progressed a lot especially since she took your job.

So goodbye for now. There will always be a little space in my heart for you.
Love,
Sueann

5:00 AM  

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