A newspaper article about a special Youth Camp in Bonn picked my curiosity and I decided to visit the place. I was thrilled to see how an old warehouse covering about 1600 square meters space had been artfully designed as an indoor camping ground for 15 vintage caravans of different sizes and shapes, two German Railway trains and two US Airstreams. A German hotelier Michael Schloesser put his money and imagination to good use and created the world’s first Camping Trailer and Pullman Coach Hostel. It was opened on 20th September 2013.
Each caravan has been thematically redesigned by a Film and TV decorater Marion Seul, to reflect a particular era. A colorful hunting lodge is decorated with animal skins and hunting equipment; a drag queen in pink invites customers into her caravan; Flower Power is brought out with colours and pictures of different flowers. Some caravans are furnished for single accommodation, some for couples and some for small families. The Royal Caravan has the pictures of Charles and Diana stuck on the outside. In the common areas are sofa sets and chairs to lounge around.
Tour trains have bunker beds in two or three tiers to accommodate groups of students or tourists as night sleepers. A tour bus and a Volkswagen Transporter can shelter 16 people. The entire hanger is well illuminated and the high roof gives an appearance of space.
This Bed and Breakfast campus which is just a year old is likely to attract backpackers of today, who travel light. The bathrooms and toilets are on the outside of the warehouse. There is even a lending library inside and a platform for young people to show off their musical or acting talents.
However, for those inclined to claustrophobia, this Base Camp may not be an ideal holiday accommodation. But for the young and adventurous, who only want a place to shower and sleep, Base Camp is the place. However, it does not come cheap. Prices vary according to size and type of accommodation starting at 52 Euros per night. It is on In der Raste 1, 53129 Bonn.
By Eva Bell