Epic European Cycle : 2015-05-14 : Rainy bike repair day in Alençon *Ascension Day

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total Notes Actions
Sight See Alençon $0.00
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Hotel Hotel le Normandie Random walk-in Alençon $50.00

Trip Log

Notes Actions
The conclusion to our terrible experience. We were sent to an alternate property. That was in my messages, but I missed it because I was trying not to use up my limited free wifi. When we got to the alternate property, there was no wifi, and there were two cats on the premises. The house stunk of litter box and my lungs started closing up right away. I told him I couldn't stay there because of my allergies. In the end, he phoned the original host and she told him to bring us back to her property, which is a very nice little hostel-ey place, but was not ready to receive guests. It has sat all winter unused. There was a stink in the bathroom, no hot water, and, of course, no wifi.

We had a fitful night there and then moved to Hotel le Normandie for tonight. It is better, cheaper, and has (limited... slow) wifi.

Now that I have more wifi, I see that they received a review already along the same lines... bait-and-switch... instead of a studio, it is a flop-house room in a place which stinks of cat and is full of cat hair. If I'd had better wifi yesterday I would not have booked into this property. Very bad service. Here's a translation of the other review from this past March: "the room made ​​available is equivalent to a maid's room in the attic. No pane, no curtains , bedding deplorable , musty odor , cat urine and the presence of cat hair . A dirty bathroom and bad odor , a kitchen squatted by cats and fur ground . " I will leave something similar when I'm able.
Aside from avoiding riding in the rain, our main goal for today was to get some maintenance done on Brent's bike. Sadly, none of the velo stores are open today. Maybe they don't open when it rains? Maybe during off season they don't open, or don't open til afternoon? We'll try again a little later.

Oops. It's Ascension Day. Who knew!? Except for everyone in France except us, that is...
Notes at the time:

We finally found the guy. He was at a different address. Brent went to talk with him while I manned the cellphone and email.

Brent came to get me. We're supposed to stay at another address. A quick check of email confirms this. I'd missed it earlier because of the limited wifi at the last hotel.

We go over to the other property and it is a flop house. The apartment is disgusting and the building has a cat box and cat condo in it (right outside our intended bedroom door) and strong odor of cat. I take a few moments to think about the predicament and wonder if I can stay in the building.

The guy phoned the host and put me on the phone with her. She insists that the cats are only ever in the yard. The guy says no the listing says there are two cats on premises. I say no our reservation was for a different property with no cats.

We use the translation app on his phone and I tell him I'm having an asthma reaction already to the cats.

He makes another call to the host and then finally says that hell take us to another property with no cats.

we follow him on his bike... right over to the original property.

The room is better. It's a complete apartment. The building is essentially empty. We don't know why they didn't put us here in the first place. brent speculstex tht thry are developers trying to turn a buck while they do renox. i think thryve jut done s bsit snd switch on us. msyne they dont wsnt english cutimerd we sre here fir kne night. well move tomorroe to a diferent place.
It's kind of funny being in France. When we get to other countries with other languages, the signage will just be completely unfamiliar, but in France, everything is familiar. Familiar enough that Brent and I keep catching ourselves looking for the "other side" (ie. flipping a package around in the grocery store) to find the English version.
I have never used pay-as-you-go phones before, so we had a bit of an adventure trying to recharge our phone. The only instructions provided are in German, so that wasn't helpful. We tried to use the text code provided, but Brent figured out after that that was to be used if you've already paid for a scratch card. Once we got back on WiFi we visited their web site and successfully recharged that way.