For this to have been a day off, I was very busy. It all started yesterday afternoon with hotel problems and I really stayed busy all of today.
As I said in my last post, Hanover is a very large city, so with that comes an almost unlimited choice of hotels. Because I don’t have very many options in the little towns I visit, I usually end up in a small, family run guest house. They’re normally OK, and I’m not complaining because it beats sleeping in a tent. But when I get to a larger city like Hanover, I try to stay in a “real hotel.” So yesterday I checked into a hotel, which will go unnamed, that happened to be a popular, though not particularly expensive, American brand. The hotel was conveniently located and had your usual amenities, with one exception. AIR CONDITIONING. I walked into my room about 3:00 PM yesterday, and since all the rooms in this hotel face west, the sun was streaming into the room and it was HOT. The high temperature yesterday was 88 and forecast to be in the low 90s today. I opened the windows in the room, and there was a fan, but there was little hope that there was going to be any relief from the heat in this oven.
After the sun went down, at about 10:00, the air began to cool a little, but the party was just beginning. Across the very narrow street from my hotel was a very large, open air bar, where 90% of the patrons were outside on the sidewalk, partly because it was cooler outside, and partly because the volume of the music was tolerable out there. So with my windows wide open, fan going full blast, and the booming music and crowd noise from the bar, I was laying wide awake until the bar closed at 2:00 AM. While grooving to the thumping of the music, I started looking online for another hotel to move to on my day off. I settled on the Crowne Plaza, which I called to verify had AC before booking.
I checked out of the first hotel this morning about 10:00 and headed straight to a laundromat about a mile away. I needed to do some laundry including washing my backpack, which is difficult to do in a washing machine because you have to take the internal frame out of it to get it to fit inside the machine. But after two hours at the laundry, I got it all washed, dried, and reassembled. Then I walked another half-mile to the new hotel, where I found my room as cool as a cucumber. I spent the next couple of hours just enjoying the comforts of the new hotel.
Late this afternoon, I headed out in search of a barbershop, which I found fairly quickly and entrusted my lovely locks to a 20 year old who didn’t speak a word of English. After several run-throughs, he finally got my hair short enough.
After the haircut, I was off looking for anything I could find in this over-the-top busy city that looked the least bit “authentic-German.” That was pretty much a lost cause. After Hanover got bombed heavily during WWII, the reconstruction effort did little to rebuild anything back to its former self. There were a few interesting sites, but the downtown Hanover I visited was almost exclusively a modern city.
I’m back on the road tomorrow, headed toward Hamburg, the last large city I’ll visit in Germany, and one which I will not walk directly through. I’ll go through the outskirts of Hamburg this Sunday on the way to my 5th country, Denmark. Thanks everyone for reading. JB.