S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Hotel Poetry

The Ramada Hotel in Friedrichroda won my heart by providing its entire hotel directory of services in rhyming couplets. It did this not just in German, but in English too, in a part of Germany which sees mostly German tourists. There was something like twelve pages of rhymes. I loved them so much that I typed up nearly all the English ones (except for a few more dull ones) and a few of the German ones for comparison.

No author was ascribed. It was obviously local effort, not a Ramada policy (much as it would be nifty if it were otherwise), as the directory described that particular hotel's services, amenities, timetables, and prices.

Friedrichroda is a small town in the Thuringian forest, an excellent base for inexpensive accomodation and the best hiking trails I have seen in my entire life. The area even has Germany's only remaining countryside tram service, offering regular transport between the major towns and villages of the region for better access. Perhaps it's this tranquility which inspired the unknown author to put such effort, cleverness, and whimsy into writing in rhyme.


You came with your pet - your cat or dog
No problems - it's welcome around the clock
Eight Euros per night - these rates you can read
And you have to put your dog on the lead.
Entry to the restaurant is granted only to guests with two feet
For beings on numerous paws
Sorry! The doors are closed.

The rhymes are no direct translation from German either. Each of the verses were composed with consideration for the original German form, but with sensitivity to the different scansion required for sensical English. Consider the German version of their comments on pets:


Ist das Haustier mitgenommen,
kein Problem, es ist wilkommen.
Acht Euro pro Nacht, so die Gebühren,
und Hunde sind geleint zu führen.
Im Restaurant darf nur erscheinen
der Gast mit maximal zwi Beinen,
kommt da wer auf mehreren Pfoten
ist der Zutritt ihm verboten.

The German version doesn't even mention cats.

Very little of the directory suffers from poor proofreading; only one entry stood out for its sloppiness, which I loved so much (baby cod!) I will share with you.


A baby with small feed and head
Can fast get lost inside the bed
You need a small bad with a fence
Don't worry we have such things at hands

The errors are understandable - mostly d/t confusions - but that the rest didn't have the same problems makes this one stand out.

Here are a few of the many, many more:

Bar and Pub

A lot of our guests have often been seen
Sitting in Bar or Pub so joyful and keen
Situated on the ground floor of course
Easy to reach on foot or on horse
But the latter has to wait outside
In case of a hygiene check it is too bad to hide


The station is not far from here
Don't have a lack of transport fear
It's only one kilometre to go to Reinhardsbrunn
Or two to Friedrichroda for walking fun
The trains stop there from morning till ni'
Or sometimes they're just passing by
The whole thing is ruled by a special system
Called timetables - ask for them - we have them


We offer you from morning till night
Programs from our high above satellite
And also the public licensed channels
Can be received in best quality panels
You just press according to your choice
The following channels - by number not noise


But should you are aiming at Premiere
Please switch the buttons in blue lumiere
Then after a short watching spree (maximum 2 minutes)
You have to pay a 10,90 Euro fee
Your children don't have to watch any "scenic attractions"
So there is a safety set to your satisfaction
Which is available on request at reception

Spa tax

Friedrichroda is a spa resort
This needs some financial effort
To keep this gem always tidy and neat
So a spa tax is due per each couple of feet
One Euro twenty for each day and each creature
Is the amount you have to settle at departure
Your room card is also you spa card document
And that's why it is twice as important.

Telephone and Fax (excerpts)

A contemporary communication
Nowadays includes phone and telefaxation


In our hotel - we say it with glee -
All calls from room to room are free
You can give a ring to every guest
If you don't know the number
Reception knows best

Wake-up Call

Unfortunately and not very fine
Sometimes you have to get up early on time
Now you experience a real shock
You forgot - who knows why - your alarm clock
But the phone will wake you - you can be sure
If you told reception in the evening before
Tags: germany, poetry, vacations

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