Notes from Europe 4

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Maldron Hotel, Cardiff, Wales

I’ve heard of overbooking with airlines, but have just found out, the hard way, that hotels can do the same. We had booked the Angel Hotel in Cardiff nine months ago, and prepaid. Because we had prepaid, we were not concerned when we knew we would be a bit late—we got to the hotel at 6:30 pm. We had chosen the Angel Hotel because it was across the street from the Cardiff Castle. When we arrived we were told that there had been a “bit of difficulty with the rooms,” and we had been “out booked” that is, they had booked us into a room at another hotel—several blocks away from the castle. We were not pleased. I’m afraid we made quite a fuss. After considerable, somewhat heated discussion, we settled for a larger room here at the Maldron. They paid for a taxi to take us here, and will pay for a taxi to take us back to the Angel Hotel’s parking lot in the morning. Parking in downtown Cardiff is difficult to obtain at best. Our booking at the Angel had included dinner and breakfast, and is included here, at the Malvern as well. Think we have done better here than at the Angel. We were allowed anything on the menu here, including a bottle of wine, of out choosing. So, I guess I really shouldn’t complain.

I think the thing that annoys me about this entire affair is the principle of the thing. If we had not shown up at the Angel, they would have kept our prepayment, and we would not have expected otherwise. They would have been paid for the room vacant or not. They put someone else in the room we had paid for, and would have been paid twice if we had not shown up. To me, this is unethical. I don’t think this would have happened fifty years ago, society expected more of hoteliers. Corporations used to have a sense of civic obligation—now it’s all about the profit for shareholders and CEO benefits. It is a product of the “trickledown” economic theory, that is, as the economist Paul Krugman would put it, “a seriously bad idea.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/12/opinion/paul-krugman-seriously-bad-ideas.html?_r=0

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bude, Cornwall, UK

We took a vacation from our vacation while in Flookburgh. That is we spent two very easy days, staying at our “self-catering cottage” on the farm. We did tour around Coniston Water through Ambleside and down Lake Windermere (again—much more leisurely this time.)

Yesterday we drove south to Herefore, and visited the Cathedral there, home of the Mappa Mundi, a 13th century map of the world. We drove on to Hay on Wye, a tiny village with 30 bookstores. Since Roger is a book collector, and book binder, this has always been on his bucket list of places to visit. I had a very nice “cuppa” and a brownie while he was visiting four or five of the thirty stores.

We then took a scenic drive through the Black Mountains of Wales. When we started the day, it looked as though we wouldn’t be able to see much, due to the rainy weather, but the sun came out about the same time we reached Wales, so we were able to enjoy the beautiful vistas—taking our time, resulting in our late arrival in Cardiff.

Today we drove around Bristol down to Exmoor. We took a side trip, on single-lane roads around Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor. Compared to its surroundings, the moor does seem very desolate, but beautifully desolate. We saw some of the Exmoor ponies that roam wild on the moor. Now we’re in Cornwall—tomorrow we’ll visit Port Isaac—where “Doc Martin” is filmed.

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One thought on “Notes from Europe 4

  1. Virginia A.

    Margaret – enjoying Cardiff Wales vicariously through your words. It sounds like a perfectly lovely trip, sans a few bumps in the road. Best, Ginny from Cardiff, CA

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    Reply

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