October 19th, 2007

I Love Travel Lodge

When we go away we stay in Travel Lodges. They're clean, unfussed, comfortable, cheap. And they have some really good offers. For instance, we got our room in North Wales for £15 a night.  

Our North Wales Travel Lodge is at Halkyn. We reckon it's the best Travel Lodge we've been in. We told the desk clerk this and I like to think it made his day.

There's a new Travel Lodge opening or just opened in Glastonbury. Yay!  We saw it advertised at Halkyn. And now we're booked into it for my birthday next year. (Thank you, Ailz)

Glastonbury is a place I return to periodically. According to some website I was messing with last year my surname originates in just that part of the world. So maybe the attraction is ancestral. Wells (next door to Glastonbury) is my favourite English small town and home to my favourite English cathedral. They've got swans living on the moat round the Bishop's Palace and they've been trained to ring a bell when they want their dinner.

I used to be a great one for the Glastonbury mystique. Leylines and zodiacs and the holy grail. Not so much now. I've looked into it and I'm afraid it's mostly bogus. Those pathways round the Tor? Nothing but the remains of a medieval field system. I've got a 19th century guidebook to Glastonbury (somewhere) and it's very light on the mythos. Why? Because most of it hadn't been invented yet. 

When I was 18 or 19 I walked all the way to Glastonbury from our home in Kent. It was the late 60s and this is the sort of thing one did. I bought an Australian bush hat so I'd look the part. When I got there I met a lot of hippies and  spent the night with them up on the Tor. I was hoping for enlightenment. Did I find it? No.

Each time I go I find the woo-woo has become more respectable and more commercial. The two things go together don't they? Long haired weidoes tramping about in clouds of illegal smoke, searching for the Dream, making the place look untidy - ooh dodgy. Long-haired weirdoes making good money selling dreamcatchers in high street shops- not so bad after all. They're contributing to The Economy. I wonder if there's still a notice in the churchyard telling the hippies to get lost.

Last time I was there I had a wander round the back streets. It's actually a rather grotty little town. There's a factory there that makes shoes.

And now there's a Travel Lodge.

I go to the website to gloat. The Glastonbury Travel Lodge is all shiny, new, red brick and I'm getting to stay there in three months time!  It says it's one of 323. So where are the others? They're here.  So many to choose from.  And- well, I never- they're starting to open them in Spain as well. There's one in Barcelona, two in Madrid. Only 30 Euros a night. Oh my...oh my......