9 April 2019

"Now this is what I call a hotel!"

In France, a local town hall is a mairie, where the mayor (maire) presides, and is more often than not called the hôtel de ville, three words that have confounded many a foreign traveler.
Years ago, with friends driving from London to the south of France on our way to one of those three-day château weddings (in this case a great-great-granddaughter of Victor Hugo who was marrying her piano teacher), we decided to stop for the night. Arriving in a small town in Burgundy, the driver, a Brazilian banker and friend who fancied himself Ayrton Senna, upon spotting the elegant hôtel de ville stopped the car, jumped out, and proclaimed, "Now this is what I call a hotel!" and began to unload the bags from the trunk. His usually cool calm English wife, fed up with being cramped in the car for hours and bickering with him at almost every kilometer (he'd taken many a wrong turn and refused to ask directions), leaned back, closed her eyes, and said, "For Godsakes that's the town hall! Pleeease put everything back in the car, and stop being so tiresome!" - BPJ

Above: Paris' main town hall - l'Hôtel de Ville - not a hotel to spend the night


[Many who've known me for years and follow this blog have been encouraging me to recount some of the tamer "adventures" we've shared without giving too much away, as a book might be lurking in there. Somewhere.]

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