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London, United Kingdom
October 9, 2002
We Arrived at 7:40, to be locked out until 8:15 because she couldn't be bothered opening reception. Told we couldn't have our room until 5pm same day when lock out is only 10 - 5. Dumped our luggage in the unsafe communal baggage room where a staff member was asleep on a bed. Came back at five, moved our stuff upstairs to find three men sleeping in our four bed room, even though we made a reservation.
We moved rooms, went out, and came home at midnight to avoid the 2am curfew which we weren't warned about. Just about to go to sleep and the staff member came in asking for our receipts because we were in the wrong room. So after an hour of stuffing about we were moved to the room with the three men in it which was now empty. One hour later the three guys came home and found myself and my friend trying to sleep. A half hour after the shouting about the overbooking had stopped, we ended up five people in a four bed dorm. Sheets were never included in the price, the room was 21 euro a night, sheets 3.50euro extra.
People we spoke to had been over booked, money stolen, and one described it as a bad school camp. The showers got washed once, at 7am, a bucket of bleach was thrown on the floor and that's it. The hawke who serves you breakfast is too keen to tell people they have already had their one bit of bread. There's nowhere to sit after 10:30pm when the courtyard closes and no room at all in the bar anyway, especially not if you are walking through with a case or a pack.
Nightmare? I think so.
From journal 3 Ducks Hostel- Paris
espanola, New Mexico
May 24, 2002
The bar is a problem because it lets all kinds of people into the hostel, mostly local men who come there to pick up the female backpackers. the courtyard is nice, but when it rains there is no where to go. the rooms are okay, crowded, but who really uses them for anything but sleep anyway? the showers were always hot, but if you have a room that opens into the courtyard you have to share a shower and toilet with just about everyone.
On the other hand there are lots of places to buy food and do laundry around. There are nice cafes and restaurants nearby, and the Eiffel Tower is a twenty minutes walk. Every night there is usually a group from the hostel who walks there to see it lit up. But the people who stay there, and the average accomadations make it not worth the money.
From journal paris pleasures