What started out to be a day of travel from Chinon, France to Paris, France turned out to be the MOST challenging day of our trip so far. Starting in the morning we had a series of events that included both good news and bad news!!!! Let me begin...
The plan...doing laundry, visit the one of the Chateau's I stayed in 10 years ago with during my trip with Zach, drive to Paris...turn the rental car in, taxi to our hotel...
Laundry...good news: with some help from a french woman we figured out the machines, water temp, soap, cost, heat...etc. and I only lost one sock :)
Bad news: while waiting for the laundry I decided to review all the pictures on my camera and after hitting a couple of buttons managed to delete all the pictures on my camera. Good news...I had downloaded all but the the last 5-6 I had taken.
Searching for the Chateau Marcay (the one I stayed in with Zach) - Bad news: got lost twice (mind you it was only 5 or 6 miles away)returned to our hotel (that we had checked out of) for directions again...to discover that we were missing Wally's camera... GOOD news: we realized that he left it at the laundry and we RUSHED back to find a little old french woman who had found it on top of the washing machines and had even called the police...was happy to see Wally and he was very happy to see his camera.
Good news...we then found the chateau and it was as beautiful as I remembered it.
Our drive to Paris...we bought bread, cheese, ham, cream cheese so we could have a picnic a long the way. Good news: the food was delicious...the not so good news...it was cold, cold, cold...so we ate at a rest stop.
Continued our drive to Paris. About 100 miles from Paris we stopped to fill up the car. Wally realizes after he filled up the tank that he put gasoline in a diesel car...and was convinced that he was going to blow up the engine. We continued on our way watching the guages and things seemed okay until we were about 30 miles from Paris...all the engine lights came on...the car was not running well and smoke was coming out the back. We were now in the middle of the rush hour traffic. We still thought that we could get to the airport where we were going to turn in the car...however, 9 miles out we were convinced that if we didn't get off the freeway we would be stuck. We took the next exit and found a hotel to pull into. With our limited french and their limited english they told us we couldn't turn the car in at the hotel...we tried to tell them the car was broke...they told us to take it to the train station just 2 minutes away. Our interpretation of their diretions sent us up and down the same street in front of the train station looking for the green Eurocar sign. Traffic and people everywhere...even a drug deal went down in front of us...another stop at a hotel to find out that the Eurocar office was inside the train station - whew. Success and a guy that felt sorry for us that the car broke down...we didn't tell them about the fuel issue. He even gave us credit for the fuel...the irony of it all.
We then had a tough time getting a taxi - they didn't want to go into the city....picture me standing by 7 suitcases outside the train station while Wally is running up and down the street trying to convince someone to take us into the city. Finally success...while in the taxi...stuck in traffic...the taxi drivers boss called him and on the speaker phone yelled at him in french for a very long time about why he agreeded to take us. The taxi driver was very nice and tried to talk with us in english...the price ended up being just 90 euros...about $140...whew...the good news...a delightful hotel...and nice room....and only 9:00pm at night.
Now a few pictures....