Saturday, December 18, 2010

On to Quimper

Part 3 - France 2010

 Still raining and still lost. No one at the tourist information office – who would have thought that there might be travelers on a national holiday?  No idea where the hotel was and the lady at the hotel had no idea where we were.  Apparently she was unfamiliar with the main tourist office. She kept saying go to the Cathedral and go two stop lights.  “In what direction?”  “Just go two stop lights.” She seemed to think this clear enough.

Off we went with absolutely no idea where to go. No one to ask. Nothing open. Finally found a boulangerie open where the French were buying their evening bread. Believe it or not, the first guy I asked knew the hotel and asked us to wait while he got his bread.  Then, he drove to the hotel with us following.  We only got lost three more times trying to get back and forth after that.

The hotel was an old manor house in the country resembling the opening scene from the movie Halloween.  It would have been complete if Debbie had done to me what Michael Myers did to the nurse. No French jury would have convicted her.

Dark shadows over our hotel.The blue tarp over the front door was needed after
high winds blew out the glass while we were staying there.
The next day broke cold and wet so a visit to the Cathedral seemed like a good bet. In an old abbey just by the Cathedral was a Brittany museum we deemed worth a visit. We got there about 11 a.m. and shortly thereafter there was an announcement in French – le musee blah blah blah in dix minutes. Now surely the museum wouldn’t close in the middle of the day.  Anyway in any museum they give you plenty of warning and then send a grumpy guard to shoo you out. So we moved quickly and finished our visit at about 12:05. Guess what? – the museum was locked up tighter than Dick’s hat band. "Don’t worry," I said, "I’ll find someone in the office to let us out." I forgot that was lunch time and no French person worth his sel is going to stay in the work place. Debbie and I looked at each other not knowing when, if ever, the museum might reopen.

A quick survey of the reception area revealed a weak link in museum security: a chest-high window locked only by a bar from the inside and shutters that were jimmiable.  Fortunately, the museum was eaten up with stone age tools.  An old raggedy spearpoint I found lying around was perfect for forcing the shutter.  A head stuck out into the courtyard showed no guards or police; in fact there was no one else about. Did I mention that it was lunch time?  And there was a bench outside just below the window. In a moment Debbie had boosted herself up and was out. She looked around nonchalantly and gave me the high sign. Liberte! I followed, at long last breathing the air of a free man.  A better (worse?) might have helped himself to a handful of souvenirs before the breakout but I left empty handed. – just kidding about the spear point.

Planning an escape


and out.
And did we hightail it out of there. Don’t say anything about this. I imagine there’s still an outstanding warrant on us.

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