Monday 23rd August 2010.
We spent most of the day travelling today to get to a town called Munster in the Alsace region. I can’t wait to work out how to say, in French, that we have a Munster in Ireland too!
Denis was very excited before we left home when he discovered a site called Airbnb.com (Air B and B) where people offer a room in their house (or their entire apartment or entire house) for holiday rent. Look it up, if nothing else you get to see into other people’s houses! I was a bit dubious at first because I though there might be only air beds, but the air seemingly refers to travelling (by air maybe?).
So we’d been trying since last Friday in Rouen to book a bed close to Reims. (That was the complication that led to our adventure in the Reims hotel). The problem is that room owners are doing this as an interest so they don’t always check their email and there’s no phone number. You pay with credit card on site and the owner has 36 hours to contact you and agree to take you in or disagree. If they don’t contact you, there’s no charge.
I hope you’re keeping up with this?
Anyway, we didn’t know about the 36 hours clause and booked the day before (24 hours) and waited for Elen (the owner) to contact us. We then drove to Reims (after Denis had an adventure with some Gendarmes, more later) and still no contact. It was hot and sticky, we needed a shower. So we checked into our Reims hotel, connected to the internet and cancelled the airbnb room.
But Denis really wanted to give it another try. For our second attempt, we started early – 48 hours before we were due to arrive – and waited for a reply. And waited. When 30 hours had passed I started looking up hotels on booking.com. Thanks to our friend the receptionist in Reims, you’ll remember, we have learned to book our hotels online before we arrive. Then I noticed this owner had included a website and on the website there was a phone number, yaa! And she spoke perfect English, yaa! It’s still the little things!
Denis has a way of sticking with something until he gets what he wants. He tries lots of different approaches but he doesn’t give up. It can look like he’s lucky, but it’s a luck he works for. It can look like he’s stubborn… Well he is, but it’s also very useful!
(Our house in Munster)
So it all worked out and we arrived at the apartment on the top floor of a three story house (again). The floors creak (again), the furniture’s old (again) and I love it!
(View from sitting room)
(View from kitchen)