Really not sure what to make of Bar Harbor. A pretty place, but very touristy indeed. Up itself in a high class way, and I can’t see the fascination that it seems to hold, bearing in mind the rubbish weather (which is normal at this time of year, apparently) and the season has all but ended.
Glad I’ve seen it, though, and the hotel has been excellent, despite the plastic breakfast. Great room and really efficient service from the front desk.
After another plastic breakfast, we were soon on our way further down the Maine coast to Portland.
A not uninteresting drive, as it used several different types and numbers of roads of differing straightness, surface, rurality and busyness. The last bit was a straight blatt down Interstate-295. There is evidence 🤞 that the fall colours are increasing…..
Found the hotel (a Hyatt) in the middle of the Old Port without too much difficulty, but the check-in was chaotic. Lots of people milling around and an understaffed front desk.
Our baggage, which we’d laboriously loaded onto a trolley to take up to our room, had to be unloaded again as the room wasn’t ready, and bags containing gin, wine and tonic water were dropped in the process. Mercifully, nothing was broken.
It was obvious that much of the milling around was due to many others awaiting entry to their rooms. The staff shortage problem once again.
I went and parked the car in yet another underground car park, and returned to the hotel. There was no point in us staying there whilst all this was sorted out, so Jean asked a tour guide who just happened to be occupying a desk nearby where we could get a coffee (NOT Starbucks). The guide wittered on a bit, but after her advice we headed out of the door to a Coffee By Design café about 15 minutes’ walk away.
Whilst there (very good coffee) we plotted a route to a visitor centre down by the waterfront. We got a load of information which will take some time to process, but we have two full days here, so time to hatch a plan. It looks an interesting town, larger than I had envisaged.
Saw this on the way back to the hotel, which whetted the appetite a little.
Second attempt to check in at the hotel. Our main suitcases had disappeared from view, but the bags with gin, wine, tonics, teas and food were still in evidence.
Reception, as usual, asked for a credit card for “incidentals”. To my consternation, a figure of over $1,000 appeared on the pay terminal. Naturally, and I admit rather testily, I queried this. The girl at the terminal could barely speak English, and had to hand over to a senior official.
He at least was able to explain that their records showed that the booking hadn’t been paid for. He checked us in, but said we needed to contact Trailfinders to get them to sort it out.
So, we finally got to our room, but our cases were nowhere to be seen. Wearily, down I went to Reception and gained access to the baggage room, armed with a trolley. Up I went again, unloaded the bags, down I went again with the trolley, booked the highly recommended restaurant next door for tonight’s meal, up I went again to finally settle in to the room, which is not bad.
Got in touch with Trailfinders immediately, and to their immense credit, they had the payment issue sorted out within the hour. That’s much more like it.
Dinner was taken in a restaurant called Evo, literally next door to the hotel. A lovely meal with a different twist – the dishes we ordered turned up when they were ready, Mediterranean style. A superb Negroamaro accompanied it. Great service, too, and an excellent vibe. They also offer a tasting menu, which we may try later in the week.
A bus tour of the city, including what seems to be an important lighthouse, has been booked for tomorrow, so I’ll be reporting how that went. Hope you’ll see fit to check in with us.