Black Beauty

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Miscellaneous Stuff

There's some stuff I've been wanting to say, but time has not allowed it until now.  I'm home now, but started this post on the ferry ride over to the Isle of Man.  I added to it several times along the way as I thought of stuff.

Sweets Break at a Tea Room
Hotels-- We stayed in great hotels on the tour. Each has been very different, but all very nice. The hotel in Morecame was a modernistic hotel with very eclectic furnishings. Walk-in shower. Commode behind a move able teak wooden wall. Lights that work only when you insert and leave your room key in a key reader. No upper sheet; duvets on each bed in England. Great if the room is cool, but way too hot if not. Twice I've woken up with a soaked pillow.
Railway Trestle Along the Way

Bathroom fixtures and water controls are different in each hotel. I could not figure out what turned on the shower in one place and had to ask Rod. In another, the controls were so finicky that I took one shower in way too hot water because I could not regulate it. And they provide huge bath towels. They are wider than my beach towels and about 5 feet long. Never seen such huge bath towels. No washrags here. Shower curtains in every hotel so far except here. Very different over here in the UK.  Very little bar soap; they use a lot of liquid shower soaps instead.

Meals have been very good. Only a couple of  meals that were so so. What they call bacon is what we call country ham. Lots of little things they put on the plate that are unidentifiable and not too good. I've learned not to taste some of them.

An elevator is a lift. A truck is a lorrie. Lots of little things like that. It seems that there are only two words understood universally-toilet and beer. I haven't been anywhere in Europe that those words were not understood.
Eggs and Salmon (Raw???)

The group is from all over the place. My roommate was from Sydney Australia. Other locations for other members include: Ontario, Saskatoon, British Columbia, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, California, Calgary, and New Zealand. Quite a mix of nationalities with a common love of touring exciting places on motorcycles. The tour company owner, Rob Beach is from Grand Island NY. He is a second generation tour operator, following his father's path and tradition.
Great Fish Stew and Onion Rings

There was one death from the races. A Japanese racer was killed in practice during the early practice sessions. They average about 2 deaths a year at the TT races. Course is 37 miles long on city streets and country roads, with very little in safety amenities. It's wild, the oldest organized racing in the world, and the TT (Tourist Trophy).  In addition, there were at least 4 deaths of spectators (not sitting near the track, but riding the course beyond their skills).
Typica Breakfast

Most pubs served the same general foods; fish and chips (almost all with green peas or mashed green peas), steak and ale pie, hamburgers, and other items I can't remember now.  Each pub usually had at least one beer unique to that location, along with other beers from the region.  The taps for beer were of two types; some were like we're used to here--under pressure and dispensing cold beer.  The others were large pumps pulled by the bartender in several strokes, and the beer was somewhat cool (not too cool).  We didn't observe any "warm" beer as we'd been warned.  I think what others called "warm" was actually beer that was not cold.  Most of the beer was very good.

I'll post some pics of the food I had on the trip, without specifying when or where.  I enjoyed the food.

Bread Bowl full of Fish Stew and Salad
It seemed that each time we'd get the hang of something new (trains, subways, car, or whatever was different), we'd change locations and there would be new customs or new things to learn.

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