When was the last time you danced in a conga line round Heathrow’s Terminal 3 just because you were headed to the USA? Well, on the Queen Mary 2 you might well go all celebratory despite yourself. It’s that sort of a ship.
It seems The Lakeside Hotel can cure all ills. Just lately I’ve noticed myself growing a little grumpy about hotels. Twenty years on the road as a travel writer have turned the old excitement of walking into a new and different foyer and sleeping in cool clean sheets into a grouchy wariness. Add to that the advent of the designer hotel and these days I’ve found myself snarling my way through the revolving doors. I’ve had my share of sliding off armchairs that looked like Dali’s ”melting” clocks or hitting my head on oversized ’ironic’ chandeliers in cold, unwelcoming dining rooms decorated in the requisite charcoal and grey. And I’m tired of trying to make myself heard in the cacophonous acoustic of bars with stripped pine floors and formica.
On a rainy night in February, I was waiting in Paris’s Gare de L’Est station for the night train to Berlin. Those last four words are loaded with romance. And I was taking this winter journey in search of the romance of rail travel in a European winter.
This is the view from composer Richard Strauss’s house in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Is it any wonder that he wrote the “Alpine Symphony”?
There’s a lot of “awesome” about these days. Handbags, vegetable fritters, sneakers all seem to earn the label. So when Bulgaria recently served me two slices of genuine ‘awesome’, I thought it was worth documenting.
The French have gone all “English Country Garden” on us.