We had been
staying at the Hotel de Golfe in St Etienne. It was recently purchased by a guy in his 40’s who made his money somewhere
else and thought a hotel where he and his freinds could hang out would be a good idea. He was no hotelier. He strutted around
and basically interfered with the business of running a hotel. When a problem arose it was beyond his ability to solve it.
we returned from the wedding I had left my heavy back sack in the car so I went down to get it. When I went to the elevator
to return to my room on the third floor it was not working. After several attempts to summon the elevator I told one of the
staff that the elevator wasn’t working. He muttered and puttered and scratched his head but made no progress of figuring
out what to do. Enter the owner. He to muttered and puttered and scratched his
head but made no progress of figuring out what to do.
We now were
20 minutes into the dilemma. I said the hell with it and decided with my heavy back sack to go up the staircase to the third
floor. Of course there were flights of stairs 6 in all to be traverse as it turned out. Of course the lights went out half
way up but I struggled on. I came to my floor but no handle on the door as there was on the other floors so I couldn’t
enter. Down I went to the lobby.
about this time I think I recall some of my French. The spicy French that you really shouldn’t have learned. To no avail.
They were still muttering and puttering. Now others had joined in to solve the mounting dilemma. Time passed 45 minutes. I
then asked about using the outside staircase and the possibility of going up it and entering the third floor. More muttering
and puttering and no answer.
It is now
an hour into the “dilemma”, the growing “dilemma” the God dam “dilemma”. I have never been noted for having a long fuse and tried to temper the length of my fuse but thinking about
my children, my dogs, and my garden anything to avoid the boiling point and an explosion but it now was at 99 degrees Celsius.
Finally someone appeared from the stair well and said the door to the third floor was open and I could climb, yes climb once
again the staircase since the “dilemma” of the elevator could not be solved by the owner and his staff. Would
one of the staff carry my bag since I was a "senior" a "senior" who was tired and pissed off. Not on your life.
It was at
this point that I told him to get the mules to carry our luggage to the lobby the next morning if the elevator was not working
and not to expect payment until my bags where in my car with their help. The sun rose the next morning and I heard no braying
of mules. Before we were finished packing I walked to the elevator and pressed the button. A hum, a slithering sound and “walla”
note the French, the elevator doors opened we could leave this eagle nest prison for Caux.
Off we went
south to Caux. This is a village to the west of Marseilles in about 15 km from the Mediterranean. It is here that former neighbours
of Elizabeth now live. We would at last be amongst fellow Canadians again. The drive was uneventful and we arrived in Caux
at the sun set as usual in the west.