Bed & breakfast – Column

Bed & breakfast

Before I got to know my Love, I went on vacation alone, dating or not. That's not scary, but the best way to experience a country and its people. On the motorcycle. In the XNUMXs, it was Triumph T150 V and the trips went – ​​of course – to England. The approach was simple: I took the boat from Hoek van Holland and saw what was going to happen. Usually there was a fixed lead such as 'Lake District' or a Triumph specialist I had read in an English motorcycle magazine.

That was at the time when bed & breakfasts did not yet have jacuzzis in lovely renovated farmhouses. An overnight stay also cost – converted – not sixty euros, but max. a pound or two. Bed and breakfast owners? So these were families in rented houses where just a room in an ordinary house was rented out. And that could just be the nursery. In an attic I looked at the stars from my bed. Half asleep, I didn't notice the house cat coming home until it habitually jumped through the skylight onto the bed. The beast landed full on my stomach. We were both quite shocked. The next morning I stepped on a dead mouse. Apparently it had been forgotten in the cat scare. "Pounded mouse!" became a very literal phenomenon.

I once ended up at an address where the whole family slept in the barn during the holiday season in order to be able to rent out more beds. But even more important at that time was the friendly or curt answer to my question whether there was still sleeping accommodation: “No motorcycles serviced”. In large parts of the UK, motorcyclists did not yet have the status of "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" marketed by Honda. Well, my Trident was clearly not a Honda. And maybe I looked threateningly continental. Maybe that's what it was all about. There are always a lot of maybe…

But in the end I only found a place to pit but once. The one time I had to spend the night in Ter Apel style was not on a lawn, but in a bus shelter. And at that time I could still get up smoothly after a night's sleep on a wooden bench. As a counterpart: When I asked a dog-walking 'older' lady – she must have been in her late forties J – if she knew somewhere to stay, I was kindly invited to her home. And that was a seriously big house. It turned out that the master of the house already had a fine collection of classic motorcycles and cars. Plus an apparently inexhaustible supply of fine whiskeys and two daughters plus a son with those really old British noble inbred boarding school principals with horse teeth and virtually no chins. Mine Triumph was viewed and found. I looked out for British Finest on two- and four-wheelers and was deeply impressed. I vaguely remember it getting late… The next morning I shared breakfast with the family, checked my three-cylinder. And was waved goodbye by the whole family.

And that's how you come to prefab, internet-planned trips to selected places and GPS's. Death for uninhibited enjoyment. But since I have a tom tom with winding routes, the surprise factor of the past is pleasantly back. So I'm open to new things. There may even be a motorcycle with ABS. Only grab a bed & breakfast for a euro ten plus a little? That won't happen again.

Also read:
- Lake columns
- More stories about classic engines
– The complete list of published articles about vintage cars




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  1. Brings back childhood memories. I could write books full of that. Not allowed through the iron curtain and then along that barbed wire wall to the next border post to try it there. Sleeping on the football field because there were no campsites nearby. Sleeping in the garden of a Gasthaus because we ran out of money for the rooms after dinner. We were young, fresh and fruity then.

  2. I myself started in the 60s. Road alone on the bike, the only difference is the tiny tent that I always had with me. Been to the GDR and neighboring countries many times by chance. With a group you look for a free table on a terrace, only you look for a free seat at an occupied table. Then you heard something again and some long-lasting friendships were formed. Of course England was a favorite country, I still think it's beautiful and they still have a Royal Enfield 2-cylinder side valve 350 cc.
    I often visited Mallory Park near Leicester when the “Race of the Year” was being held.
    Fridays with a packed motorbike to the boss, after working hours a course to Zeebrugge and with the night boat to Dover. The older riders may remember the name Bennie Pinners, this man often organized trips to motorcycle races and they were always on board. It was always very pleasant and it was not always 100% alcohol-free. After arrival, spend the Saturday in London and then to Lricester. On Sunday after the race, drive on smoothly to be at the ferry in time and you were back in Zeebrugge on Monday morning at 05.00:08.00 and you were -if you did your best - at 3:XNUMX after XNUMX nights without sleep at the boss again, without personal care. He immediately sent me home to shower, eat and take a nap and in the afternoon you were ready again. I wouldn't hold out now.

  3. Great story again. And indeed a B&B will no longer be found for €10,- for a night. Not in the least because of the more than exorbitant gas price and related other fuel prices, which, more specifically, especially in our own country, have now acquired a kind of deadly character due to idiotic taxation. Legalized theft seems to be the correct description of the phenomenon that can no longer be explained. An extra thick sleeping bag is therefore allowed on a trip, in case you should unexpectedly have to spend the night at Ter Apels. As a reasonably hardened rider, I personally don't think this is an insurmountable problem. Romance resurfaces. Tempting even

  4. And do not forget:
    a water cooker in every room with the accompanying english tea tea bags.
    And coins for the boiler shower.
    Had to sleep outside once due to "no vacancy".
    Those signs were posted at the entrance from 19.00 p.m.
    It was 2100 hours.
    The next day I understood what that sign meant:
    We no longer open after 1900 hours.
    And so after driving around a bit I ended up in a parking lot with a Little Chef location.
    Grab a sleeping bag and lie down on the couch.
    Was very cold!
    The business opened at 0700 in the morning.
    Immediately to the toilet, shave and a quick face wash.
    Ham and eggs, white beans toast and fresh coffee.
    I came back to life.

  5. pity, only one comment on such a nice story! the romantics are dying out!
    I myself am grateful that I got to know my sweetheart with my Fiat 600 and she later with me
    went out on a Honda.

  6. B&Bs in the country where the cry was born are still almost always a party; have a delicious breakfast with bacon and sausages, and sleep in beds that are just a little too short…
    Only the prices have grown with the times..
    Moreover, motorcycling in the same country that claims to have pioneered it is a fantastic affair, even driving on the left and thus legally overtaking on the right is quickly learned.
    We no longer only brake left and shift right, as they say.

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