The Anonymous Widower

Don’t Stay In The Metro One Hotel By The Hauptbahnhof In Berlin!

The only thing to recommend it, is the distance from the station, but I found it totally unfit for my purpose as I wrote in A Hotel To Avoid.

I will not be taking any chances in future and will avoid Metro One hotels.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

The Excelsior In Munich Delivers

When I pass through Munich on my long trips, I generally stay in the Excelsior hotel by the Hbf (Hauptbahnhof).

  • It is about a fifty metre walk from the station entrance.
  • The hotel dies old-fashioned service at a reasonable price.
  • The rooms are spacious and comfortable.
  • It has baths.
  • It does a proper cooked breakfast.
  • It is convenient for the trams.

Once I needed a phone charger, so they sold me one for a couple of euros from their large collection guests had left behind.

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Adding Insult To Injury

I still couldn’t get BBC World, but to add insult to injury, I could get a porn channel! Not that I’m bothered about this level of porn, but it wasn’t what I wanted to watch. Although, I did find it funny, that a guy kept his hat on, whilst on the job. It wasn’t because he was cold either, as the sun was blazing away!

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | 1 Comment

A Trip To Spandau

This morning I have taken the U7 line to Spandau Rathaus and explored the town.

I am actually writing this in a pleasant coffee jouse called Croissant, where I have enjoyed a mug of cappucino and a chocolate brownie, that was marked gluten-free.

I shall soon be leavibg to visit the Olympic Stadium.

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Food, Travel | , | Leave a comment

A Hotel To Avoid

My hotel in Berlin is definitely one to avoid.

These are current anoyancies.

  • The television can’t receive BBC World.
  • The glasses are small thin plastic things in plsstic bags, that break easily. McDonalds provide better ones!
  • There is no plug for a laptop by the desk.
    That doesn’t matter as the desk isn’t big enough for a laptop.
  • The doors are heavy steel ones that are hard to open and hit you as you go through.
  • There is no place to put clothes

I shall be glad to leave tomorrow.

I will mot return or use another of this group’s hotels.

I’ll name the hotel, when I get back to Blighty and I have put my vitriol on Trip Advisor. I can’t fo that now, as I haven’t got my account details with me. You always forget something!

These are a few pictures I took.

In some ways for me, the non-existent glasses was worst.  Because of my stroke, I like to drink out of a glass, as I can’t use a straw.

This hotel is totally unsuitable for solo travellers like myself, who need to charge devices. It would also be terrible for a couple, as the average woman would have no place to put everything.

C would have gone potty.

If I were to give the average Premier Inn 7 out of 10, I would give this Metro One hotel by the Hauptbahnhof in Berlin, a score as low as one.

 

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | 3 Comments

Time To Spare Go By Air

The title of this post was given to me by a pilot by the name of Dick Fox, who was one of men and women, who taught me to fly properly. We also did a few trips to places like Stockholm, Dusseldorf and Cologne. At the latter airport, we had a battery failure so Dick stepped up to the plate and got my Cessna 340, in the yraditional way, by swinging the propeller and starting it by hand.

Today, I’m at Gatwick on my way to Berlin. It never surprised me, the way airports make the process of flying less efficient.

Slow Walking Routes

I’m flying from the North Terminal and arrived at Gatwick by train.

Where is the direct route from the station to the North Terminal shuttle? You have to walk in a loop through the crowds in the Main Terminal to get to it.

Surely, separate routes would be more efficient for passengers and the Airport.

Security

It was better today, but I suspect Gatwick are applying a bit of looking at passengers to speed some through. I suspect that being 70 and grey, I wasn’t asked to take my boots off.

My bag also failed the search and I had to wait for it. But it was all done politely.

I hope that security goes along the route of more technology and AI.

Compulsory Visiting Of Duty Free

We still live in a free country and if I want to visit Duty Free, it should be my choice.

So why do I have to wak threough the Duty Free area?

Needing A Boarding Pass To Buy Anything After Security

Why? As it slows down queuing for small goods you need.

I suspect it’s all about VAT. But surely, if companies abolished it for small purchases, everybody would win.

Slow Service In Restaurants

I queued in Jamie Oliver’s for perhaps ten minutes, but I was out in thirty. It seems they’ve got their systems better.

Conclusion

Any London Airport that speeds up their systems will get my custom.

February 11, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | 1 Comment

The Strange People You See On The Underground

As I got on my Victoria Line train at Highbury and Islington station, scruffy individual got on carrying a claw hammer. One or two others noticed him and as he got off at Green Park, we had a safe journey!

February 11, 2018 Posted by | Travel | | 5 Comments

It’s Got Easier To Visit Belarus

I’ve visited Belarus before, as I wrote in this post called Belarus.

I enjoyed the trip to see England in qualification for the World Cup.

The outstanding thing I found about the country was the friendliness of the people. And that included the police! Before the match, they made sure that all fans could frantenise and exchange banners and greetings.

The Times today has a two-page travel article about cycling in Belarus. Tom Chesshyre enjoyed it.

He mentioned that there is now a five-day tourist visa waiver, which was introduced last year. That surely would be a lot easier than the Stalinist bureaucracy, I had to fight through at the embassy to get my visa in 2011.

I shall now return to Belarus.

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Travel | | 2 Comments

Extend Crossrail To Southend Airport

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in the Southend Echo.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Southend Airport’s boss has suggested that high-speed Crossrail trains should be extended to the airport to provide a faster service for travellers to and from London.

Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, suggested to transport secretary Chris Grayling that the £16billion rail project from Heathrow Airport should be extended to Southend.

I like this idea and I wrote about it in Crossrail Tests Its Trains In Southend, where I finished the post like this.

I have come to these conclusions about services between Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria stations..

  • A Fast Greater Anglia express service could probably achieve a sub-fifty minute time.
  • A Slow Crossrail service, could probably do the trip in an hour.
  • Better interchange with Crouch Valley Line and Great Easstern Main Line services would be achieved.
  • Four Fast and four Slow services in each hour is possible.

My choice for the Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria service would be as follows.

  • Four trains per hour – Crossrail Class 345 trains – Stopping at all stations.
  • Four trains per hour – Greater Anglia Class 745 trains – Stopping at Southend Airport, Billericay, Shenfield and Stratford.

Or the simple option of just running the four Crossrail trains.

 

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Is There Hope Yet For The Metropolitan Line Extension?

This article in the Watford Observer is entitled Hertfordshire County Council Tables Plans For Met Line Extension Project To Still Go ahead.

This is the start of the article.

Plans will be tabled for the Metropolitan Line Extension to go ahead despite last month’s shock rejection from the Mayor of London.

An emergency cross-party motion has been tabled for Hertfordshire County Council’s budget council on February 20 in a bid to show there is still political support for the project is still ongoing.

The motion has been agreed with the Conservative leader of the council, David Williams, and Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst.

The plug was pulled on the scheme last month despite additional government funding of almost £74m.

It looks to be more optimistic about this difficult project.

The article makes the point that TfL are paying for step-free access at Amersham and Rickmansworth, which outside the London area.

I can’t help feeling though that this project is all about politics and very little about seeing, if a more pragmatic solution can be found.

There are several rail projects that serve Watford that need to be taken together.

  • Crossrail up the West Coast Main Line.
  • New trains for the Watford DC Line.
  • The future of the Milton Keynes to East Croydon service.
  • What to do with the Northern end of the Bakerloo Line.
  • Improved Watford services by West Midlands Trains.
  • Possible Chiltern Railways access to Watford Junction along the Metropolitan Line Extension.

I suspect that if all projects are looked at together, a better solution can be found.

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment