On my way back to La Clusaz, my travel partner and I decided to stop in at Reims. This, of course, is pronounced as “Rahz” in French. Someone once explained how this is logical, but I’ve forgotten. Apparently in French, it is actually logical. It has something to do with the agreement of the “ei” with the “m”, producing the “ah” sound.
Anyway, my French travel friend, on crutches, needed a hotel room without stairs. We had lots of stuff with us including a paraglider, which we didn’t want to leave in the car, so we went to the tourist office to ask for a hotel that had close parking and no staircases, and not necessarily in the centre of town.
Now, fair enough if the tourist office lady had misunderstood just one of our needs, but she failed on every single one of them! The hotel was situated on a pedestrianised street in the centre of town, with a long, narrow staircase just to get to the reception, and no on-street parking in the closest road to the pedestrianised zone.
How did this happen? The woman we spoke to was very generous, giving us lots of tourist books and maps along with calling the hotel to reserve our place. She acknowledged the crutches and even joked about how someone one crutches could use a paraglider. We didn’t mention the wakeboard in the car (the reason for the crutches).
Luckily, the man at the hotel was very nice, giving us a more expensive room at no extra cost on the same floor as reception so that we didn’t have to climb another two staircases to get to the room reserved for us. Better still, we didn’t have to walk far for dinner: the pedestrianised street was full of restaurants from all around the world. We made good use of it after lugging heavy bags up that narrow, steep staircase!