Europe 2012 travel blog

our hostess

Old English Quarters Bennecourt

The Seine from bedroom window

Arrived in Paris in the afternoon and after some delay finally got our hire car.

There were some tricky bits when Mike realised that the connection for the GPS wasn't the correct one so we ran out of charge. However Pete had the foresight to have Yve write down some of the instructions before there was total blackout.

This got us near to our destination (though we'd missed a turn so couldn't use Yves final few instructions.) But Pate remembered the name of the town, and suddenly there it was! By then we had a little bit of charge back. Enough to get us to the house.

There we were met by the owner and his partner. She couldn't speak English and he had damaged his back and could barely walk. There were some issues but they were sorted out. And even when the owner went to hospital the next day and his partner communicated with us through the computer we all survived. She would type in her question and the computer would translate to English for us to answer. Then it would translate again. We all managed very well.

At our last session with her, over breakfast, Mike decided his computer could contribute to the conversation. It has an App where you speak and it translates and speaks in the nominated language. I think it needs a bit more voice recognition practise!!!.Mike said very clearly "I hope Alan is better soon", It spoke in French and what it said appeared on the screen in English "It has been a long day".

Could cause an international incident!

We had arrived very late but the owner phoned a Chinese restaurant in the village across the river and they kept the kitchen open for us. The Vietnamese owner couldn't speak English but again we managed, with much hovering and plying of food and suggestions from him. The tot of Sake we all received at the end probably didn't help my walking back to the B&B but it was good for building relationships.

The next morning Mike Pete and I went for another walk to this village. At 10.00 o'clock which seemed to be opening time for most businesses other than the Patisseries and coffee places, music began playing on a street public address system. It added some festive feeling to the morning. We then went back to Bennecourt to a very old area that had the sign "English Quarters' we presumed that this was a historical tag from way back, but as this wasn't a tourist town there was no information centre to give us information. And the internet hasn't been helpful either.

The roads in this area are very narrow; many are one way. And because of their winding nature turns when driving had to be very sharp. Later in the day we experienced this and ended up going the wrong way down a one way street. An angry young man gesticulating at us was our first warning we'd done something wrong. However when he realised we were foreign he gave us instructions in very broken English supported by hand gestures, and waved us on our way.

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