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Kiddie's tour of Europe prelube and Brussels 2014 Interhash
Submitted on Sunday 10th August 2014
by Cyberseptic

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Away R*ns»

Kiddie's tour of Europe prelube and Brussels 2014 Interhash

Antiseptic and I arrived in Paris on the Eurostar about mid-day on Tuesday 15 July and a Metro and shuttle bus later at the Hotel Mercure on the North side of La Defense.  A stroll in the afternoon took us to the Esplanade and the Grand Arche (splendid).  That evening we met our 47 co-hashers and tour guide Sophia at our introductory dinner at a smart restaurant on the Champs Elysees.  The tour had been booked by Kiddie from Tampa, so as expected the majority of our hashers were from USA and Canada, but in fact nine nationalities were represented, only ourselves from the UK.  Day 2 in Paris was a bus tour to see the sights and a visit to the Fragonard Perfumery.  Anti and I then took some quiet time at Le Plantee Promenade and Le Viaduc des Arts, a disused railway viaduct converted to gardens with art shops in the former arches.  That evening half of the busees (as we came to call us) opted for an evening at a Moulin Rouge equivalent while the rest of us hashed from the hotel.  Along with one of the hares falling in the Seine and three hashers stripping off in the circle to give us an alternative cabaret, it was a good hash to start off the tour.  The evening finished off with a re-group for a night visit up the Eiffel Tower.  Stunning.

Day 3 was almost entirely taken up by our longest bus journey 700km to Lucerne where after a quick orientation tour and visit to their lion war memorial we bussed out to Stans and the Stanserhof Hotel, communal dinner and an evening hash around the local pubs.  Right opposite the hotel is a Funicular railway which climbs up to a very modern open-top cabriol cable car up the Stanserhorn mountain, which some hashers opted for on the morning of day 4 while the rest of us took our bus into Lucerne for a morning of relaxation around the harbour, lake and old city wall.  Then off to Vaduz, capital of Liechtenstein, for lunch (and a hash).  There is no hash kennel in Liechtenstein so we just had to hash there.  Then on on to the Alphotel Innsbruck and the bar, followed by another impromptu hash.

Day 5 was a free morning in Innsbruck: a walking orientation tour of the centre, a visit to the Swaroski shop and centre and free Schnapps tasting before on on to Munich via a little place called Inst in Austria where we rode the Alpine Coaster, the longest roller coaster in Europe.  You have to go up the mountain the a bench-seat chair lift then down it in a tobogan on wheels, which takes about five minutes and the views are terrific.  Then on on again to Munich and Hotel Sheraton Westpark in time to catch the S-Bahn to join Munich H3 for their weekly hash, which was crazy good, though we concluded that all city suburb hashes anywhere in the world are much the same.  Sophia joined us as a virgin hasher and was bowled over by the experience.  Was also good to bump into Loose Nuts again who for now lives in Munich.  After the circle a half mile walk brought us to the local beer garden for food and much beer.  Day 6 then started with our bus into Munich and a city bike tour.  The guides has been briefed by Sophia about what hashers do, so after a couple of stops for brief history talks by our guides we biked under the ring road to the weekend crowds in Englischer Garten where we parked up by a fast-flowing river.  The guides then stripped off and told us to do the same and jump in the river after them, swim downstream under a low footbridge and haul ourselves out some way downstream.  I think even they were a little taken aback when most of us did just that, jumping straight in topless.  Antiseptic needed a little help to climb out downstream and most of us walked back up the river and had a second go.  Perfect on a sweltering hot day!  Then pork knuckles and beers in the huge beer garden with the oompha band on the bandstand.  Bavarian paradise!  After the bike ride, free time to wander round Munich and let our underpants dry off and then to the Hofbrauhaus and other great Bavarian institutions for yet more beers.

On day 7 we had a longish journey to the Rhine but not before spending a couple of hours at the Dachau Concentration Camp, a sobering experience to say the least and not one that we felt like capturing on camera.  Everyone should go there or to one of the other death camps once in your lives to reflect on mankind's mistakes of the past.  Lunch was just an hour and a half in beautiful Heidelberg where a few of us skipped food to climb the 300 or so steps to the magnificent castle and view over the city and Neckar river, then down the cobble streets to the city square and the Altebrucke.  On on to St Goar on the Rhine, near Koblenz, where we saw traditional ceramic beer steins being made and had a terrific tasting in a chilly, gloomy wine cellar surrounded by huge wine barrels.  Then to the Hotel Bellevue in nearby Boppard for a communal dinner followed by, guess what, a hash.

On day 8 we bussed to Amsterdam via lunch at La Trappe, one of the only two Trappist monastery breweries in the Netherlands (the other one only being two years old).  The other six are in Belgium.  The tour of the brewery was phenomenal and a very spiritual experience.  We tasted 6 beers from 5.5% to 10.7% and enjoyed them all, increasingly so! and came to appreciate their motto: "Proef de Stilte" or "Taste the Silence".  Then on on for a whistlestop tour of Amsterdam on the bus and checking in at Hotel Golden Tulip before a farewell communal meal at a terrific restaurant in the city.  On day 9 we chose to skip the canal hashes and did our own thing strolling around beautiful Amsterdam.  Day 10 was our last on the bus and we had to get to Brussels for the red dress r*n, but we still had time for a bike ride in the Netherlands countryside to a clog and cheese factory site and a beautiful windmill.  Very relaxing.

And so to Brussels on Thursday 24th July, dropped off at the Renaissance Hotel to register, then a taxi to our hotel, the Silken Berlaymont (right next to the EU Parliament building) to check in and don our red dresses, then a 1km walk to the Parc de Cinqantenaire for the start.  In fact this was a red dress walk in groups of 100 because this is all the city police would allow.  Bumped into Rabbi with Raw Liver, Talking Pussy with Doolittle and Boghopper with Geo, etc.  The Red Dress Walk took us through many sights of the city (but not the Grand-Place) and out to the hash venue at Tour et Taxis, which is a disused and restored warehouse next door to the luxuriously restored Royal Warehouse by the Canal Bruxelles Charleroi.  Food was a little chaotic but we partied the night away and waited an hour for the shuttle buses back to the hotel.

Friday was free so we had leisurely breakfast and strolled around the city centre sampling the beer and the sights.  I was a little disappointed that the Royal Theatre Toone was not open for beers in the morning but the Delirium Cafe Brewery was and their beer was great.  We also found the "Janecke Piss", which is the female version of the Maneke Piss, installed in the 80s as a coin well to collect for cancer charities.  On to the venue for dinner, the opening ceremony (for what it was worth) and partied again, though less enthusiastically than the Thursday.  Great to meet up with Forever Blowing, Bubbles, Hash Drunk, Pick Me Up, Speedbump, Dormouse and No More Cum.

Saturday we walked up early to the bus departure point a the Parc de Cinqantenaire, which must be the most impressive bus park we've ever had on an interhash.  We chose the r*n at Leuven, set by Pittsburgh H3, and it was terrific - a mixture of gardens, parkland, the beautiful town of Leuven and finally an abbey.  About 15km or so, which was tough in the heat, and only a short circle after.  Back to the Parc, walk to the hotel and off on the Metro to the venue again for food and entertainment.  Great night.  Sunday we opted for the Hanove H3 r*n which was nearly all in the forest just outside the city and pretty well a 12km continuous run, strangely welcome after all the socialising we were doing.  Bizarrely met two hashers who had been at school together at my school.  Small world.  Good circle and back, then to the venue again for food and the closing entertainment of the weekend, which was great but we copped out a little early after fond goodbyes to our busee friends.

Not the end however.  We had booked an extra night in our hotel as our Eurostar back was booked for the Tuesday, so we had a free day in Brussels, visiting a Lambic brewery in the morning and the Atomium in the afternoon, then were able to hash with Brussels Maneke Piss H3 as Monday is their usual r*n day.  So that day they had an extra 200 or so leftover visitors from the weekend and we had a great hash from only about 2km away from our hotel, through a city park and finishing with a terrific evening circle by a lake.  A dozen of our busee friends were on the hash too so it was great to spend some more time with them.

What a magnificent two weeks or so!  And the only rain was on the way from Munich to St Goar, though it conveniently stopped while we were in Heidelberg.  The rest of the trip was dry and hot.  Must hash in Europe again!

See some photos of the bus tour and Brussels weekend on the Facebook page

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Write up by Cyberseptic

Sunday 10th August 2014 at 9:39pm