Monday, September 3, 2012

A unique experience

We had a very relaxing few days in Ireland where PK embarked on a quest to drink a Guinness in every Pub we found.  More of this later.

As I am now back in Vienna I feel that I can safely report on our bike and barge trip without the danger of being pursued and beaten senseless by Captain Mart – our host, guide and enforcer.

Captain Mart graduated from the Al Qaeda school of hospitality management for Infidels and has some unique views on the host/guest relationship. 

We had trouble getting a taxi in Maastricht  so were ‘late’ reporting on board the Miro. This prompted the first of many remonstrations by the Captain who – we discovered – had many and varied rules and regulations.  Most of these remained unknown to us until we transgressed.  

The next step was to be herded into a cabin and given an immense number of instructions about what we could and could not do in them. It was mainly could not – and while we vainly tried to keep up with the barrage of information -much of it just whizzed by – hence our subsequent and frequent infractions and the incurring of demerit points.

The information included such minutiae as the need for us to put all of our shoes away so that they did not clutter up the (his) floor. He did not – at that stage – mention his fetish with toilet bags.

Finally the harangue finished and we thought ‘ah – time for the advertised welcome glass of champagne’ but no – now it was time to be instructed about the bikes – and this was much more complicated than the cabins.

You would be – and we were – amazed at how many things can apparently happen to a bike unless it is under armed guard and we were left in no doubt that the most important things on the trip were, in order, Captain Mart, Miss Elly (his spouse) the barge and the ten bikes.

We came stone motherless last then and subsequently.

By the time the lecture finished we knew the cost – and difficulty of replacing – every part of the bike. I was terrified that there was going to be a test but he figured that just scaring the shit out of us was punishment enough.

We did not get the champagne – and then things started to go downhill.

To be continued

I can already tell that you think I am exaggerating. If you do then read this – and if only we had read it before we went on the trip.


  1. Oh dear :0 I hope the Ireland leg made up for the barge !

  2. ahahahahahah! this is very funny!

  3. It makes you wonder how some people can stay in business. How was Ireland?

  4. KP: It was a good trip despite the Captain.

    Simon: We even laughed at the time

    esbboston: In this case - because he does not have to rely on repeat business.