Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day 22: Monthly Travel Awards; Hotel Update; Energy Savings

Travel Awards

After 3-weeks, it's time to hand out some awards for best and worst.

1) Best-looking, under-aged, inn-keeper's daughter: Odeon Hotel, Athens, Greece
2) Best breakfast juice: passion fruit, Hotel Atti, El Yaque, Venezuela
3) Best throwing arm on an overnight ferry (female category): Russian Woman (see day 19)
4) Best view from a hotel room: Hotel Poseidon
5) Best airline: none
6) Worst airline: 3-way tie (American, Iberia, Laser)
7) Best smoke-filled health club: Joe Weider, Athens, Greece
8) Best politically incorrect foreign language insult: "cabrone", El Yaque, (literal meaning is "cuckhold." But means more like your significant other is leading you around by the short and curlies.)

After second night, I have a better feel for the hotel

My new room is excellent. I have a queen-sized bed -- I open my eyes and there's the Mediterrean.

Mostly German. Mostly middle-aged. Some expert windsurfers. I'm the only single person. (from what I can tell). In addition to German, most guests can speak English. A few speak French.

Breakfast: all you can eat buffet (included in room price)
Lunch and dinner are offered at reasonable prices.
- first night I had fresh fish for 12 Euro, large sized bottle of Heineken (2.50 Euro), greek salad (3.50 Euro), they also charge .75 Euro for bread (fleece artist waiter said this is common in Greece; I've yet to see it. total about 20 Euro plus tip;
- second night I had chicken leg (6.50), greek salad (3.50), Heineken (2.50), bread (.70) about 16 with tip.

Hotel manager said she thought I was Swedish. I don't know if that's compliment or not.
Was she referring to my exotic looks or "exotic" behavior, including:
- complaining about the bed,
- riding a bike instead of renting a moped,
- asking if water was safe, if it was safe to leave windows open, if I could put things in the safe.

European hotels are big on saving energy.
Here is a list of strategies I've seen that would probably never fly in the US:
- no electricity in the room until you plug the key into a special outlet in the room.
- hallway lights have motion detectors; they don't go on until someone is in the hall. (some bathrooms had this as well. A problem when lights go out because you're seated for a while)
- handheld shower heads that encourage a short shower.