West Side Market

Day 16 – Erie to Cleveland

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I booked a hostel for our night in Cleveland, which made Brian quite nervous as you always associate hostels with groups of rowdy young people being p*ssed and noisy. To be honest, I was a bit worried as well! The reality couldn’t have been more different! We left Erie late-ish as it isn’t a long trip to Cleveland and when we got to Cleveland we went to check into the hostel straight away. The hostel was a cheaper option than staying in the town centre, and close to the West Side Market and only one stop on the train/metro into town. When I walked into the hostel a couple with three young children were just leaving and in the lobby area a bunch of erm, older people (65-ish) were milling about, so any doubts I had were immediately dispelled! The hostel check-in guy was extremely helpful and offered up a map as well as suggestion on where to eat and drink. Our room was basic, without TV, but very clean with good Wi-Fi, which to me is much more important than TV anyway! We booked a room with an en suite bathroom so in reality it was just like another hotel stay. The hostel is in a part of the city called Ohio City and the hostel is Cleveland Hostel in case you wanted to check it out!
After checking in we explored the immediate vicinity and walked through the market (West Side Market), which had some lovely produce – especially loads of jerky- and of course I took loads of pictures! We didn’t realise the market would be shut the next day as we planned to return to get some food as it seemed much cheaper than the supermarkets; such a shame we missed the opportunity. We then took the train to Cleveland and started our tour in freezing, windy conditions. We didn’t have a map of Cleveland so I tried to figure out on Google Maps where to go and what to see, but to be honest, we couldn’t find much that seemed worth the waking and freezing wind. Nevertheless, we walked around and eventually found the theatre district as well as an amazing shop, Heinen, where I bought some wine. They have a great food court as well as an upper level where they offer wine tasting by the ounce, beer by the glass, as well as wine and beer sales.
After spending a few hours in Cleveland and knowing the area where we were staying in has loads of restaurants and bars we called it a day and headed back to the hostel. Cleveland was quite an interesting experience and I’m glad we stayed over, but it was also a strange place; it seemed very quiet with not a lot of people about and quite a lot of shops empty or closed and whole areas seemingly devoid of life. The area we stayed in was much livelier and ‘regenerated’ (hipster) so maybe the happening places are in the suburbs as downtown just didn’t do it for me.
For dinner we took advantage of the happy hour specials at McNulty’s Bier Markt where Brian had a very good burger for $7 which was great value, while I had a Spring Salad containing an egg, a few leaves and a slice of avocado for $9 – not great value! Just as well I insisted on ordering some chips as a side otherwise I would have gone to bed hungry! We slept well and there were no disturbance of any kind during the night, proving that hostels area viable option – though it has to be said it is not quite holiday season yet!
Things I learned today: Stay clear of poncy sounding salads as you’ll only end up hungry after eating it! Always try and get a map of the area otherwise you’ll wander around like a headless chicken and freeze your *rse off.
Tip of the day: Pack longjohns even when going away for a ‘summer’ roadtrip – you may just need it!
Highlight of the day: Heinen!

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