Monday, October 3, 2011

A real dosshouse…

Wednesday, 28th of September. It became late when I finally left Caen. As always it was hot (close after noon I saw a display which told it was 30 degrees), as always it took me some time to leave the town. When I finally found my route it was a big road with lots of traffic. And it went like this for a longer time. It would be a long stage up to Rouen (in the end it was 140 kilometres) so I tried to do the most direct route, but therefore it wasn't that nice to cycle.

In Lisieux I saw one of the tourist information centres and once again asked for maps. The woman behind the desk, a German student, who worked at this place during the semester break, was extremely helpful and this tourist information was the best appointed one I saw during my tour – while the others only had maps of their department, here they had everything, so when leaving I had everything I would probably need. It's funny how different the maps are, there's no standardized design, no consistent size, each one is very unique.

It became night before I reached even the suburbs of Rouen and I had to hurry, because as far as I knew the youth hostel I planed to spend the night in would close at 10:30 P.M. and in the end it became a problem to catch the time. Rouen is much more bigger than I would have thought. I started to ignore most of the traffic rules, but it didn't help. It was 10:40 when I finally arrived at the youth hostel, and a man who was working there opened the door but only to tell that the reception was closed – he didn't car about my situation. It was really frustrating. Next thing I did was searching for a cheap hotel, and I ended up in a real dosshouse, best of it were the soft and clean towels. If you take it with some humour, it was definitely an interesting experience.

At first I wasn't so sure if this place was maybe a transient hotel, the friendly but somehow sleazy fat man at the reception couldn't speak more than a few words English, but nevertheless he didn't stop to talk and to ask for details of my tour, while we tried to communicate about the details of renting a room. When I finally came into the room, there were two beds, each placed in one of the corners, which seemed to be camp beds with uncomfortable innerspring mattresses. Inside this room there was also a shower installed, a special feature which costs me 5 € extra and had caused lots of mildew on ceiling and walls. The toilet was outside at the staircase.

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