I recently had the opportunity to join a road trip from Newcastle to Montenegro, via London, Calais, Bruges, Brussels, Rothenberg, Bled and Dubrovnik, traversing 9 countries in the process.
Basically, a friend of mine, Beth, works at Quilliam Brothers’ Tea House in Newcastle, and the Brothers’ new project is a hostel in Montenegro. They have bought a disused olive mill – currently a shell of a building, albeit a beautiful shell – and intend to turn it into an eco hostel. There is a lot of work that needs doing and the first job was driving a minibus, loaded with supplies, to the town of Stari Bar where the hostel is located. (Incidentally, there’s plenty more work to be done over the next year. If you’re interested in working on a HelpEx basis, contact the guys via their Facebook Page).
There were spare seats in the van for anyone who was willing to muck in with the hard work at the other end. Beth and I are both fond of adventure and unafraid of hard work, so we jumped at the chance! Naturally, I packed my camera gear. I’ve posted some creative shots over on my professional site (go here if you’re interested in seeing them) but here I want to post the documentary shots from the trip.
There was torrential rain for the first two or three days, so there are no pictures from England, France or Belgium. We arrived in Rothenberg, Germany in darkness after a hard 19hrs on the road through shitty weather. The rain had cleared by the time we arrived but, unfortunately, so had the people of the town! The hostel we booked was closed and, when we contacted them we were told that staying there was “Not Possible” despite there being empty beds in there just waiting for us!
We tried other places but it was like a ghost town. It looked like “Not Possible” was to be the motto of Rothenberg. Then we spotted lights in one establishment, we entered Hotel Goldener Hirsch to find a very plush, expensive looking reception and a very friendly gentleman waiting for us. He quickly turned out to be our saviour, lamenting that the whole town goes to sleep after 10pm, he sorted us out with some rooms in an annexe. I got the feeling he was only awake so late because nobody else was, or maybe he just knew that the cool people only turn up after midnight… It is a beautiful hotel, replete with rubber duckies in the bathroom and we all got probably the best night’s sleep of the trip in their beds. Although that might have something to do with the long day and the beers the guy sorted out for us too!
Anyway, for those reasons, the photo essay picks up in the morning at Rothenberg, where we awoke to snowfall – a pleasant surprise after all that rain!