Atravi Residence Hotel

1 July 2011

This is where we are staying for our first month in France. A beautiful building.


They don’t cater for families of six, so we have two flats. The kids are in one and we have one. Not too bad inside, a bit bigger kitchen could be nice, and a microwave, and a toaster.

Since our airfreight arrived on Thursday it is now really full. And now we also wonder why we brought so much extra clothes and things.

The sun only going down after 10pm makes it really difficult for us to get to bed early. You just don’t feel tired or you eat supper and realised its 10pm already. And then there is still Atravi’s thin walls. When its finally dark after 11pm and we are in bed, our neighbours have their daily conversation for I don’t know how long! But luckily we are still on holiday and can sleep late.


Groceries, diesel and a braai

28 June 2011

The closest supermarket to us is a ‘much too big’ Carrefour. When all the products are new and all words are in French, you should have a small little store to look for what you want. But not this one, you walk a mile and back to find anything. Most products are easy to recognise, the variety are just much bigger than what we are used to in SA.
I wanted to buy ingredients for crepes on Wednesday. There are so many different flours. I read later that some are for fluid batters, some for doughs, etc. The challenge was to find baking powder to bake crepes. I couldn’t… so I bought a crepes box where you just add eggs and oil. That Mandi will bake for us today.

Diesel… now that is a long story. Our very grand Ford S-max rental car is very particular on the correct diesel. Only the super, premium, excellent type. So, the manufacturers made sure you will put in the right stuff. When you open the petrol cap, the ‘hole’ is still closed.
First effort: Danie went quickly to fill the car… came back an hour later… not in a good mood. He just could not get the diesel nozzle in. (A good thing, because at Carrefour it is not the right diesel!) The hole is closed, and the car’s manual is in french! After google translate, we realised the thing about the excellent, premium diesel.
Then, second effort, we drove with the gps from total to bp to the next super diesel supplier, but it still wouldn’t open! The frenchmen we asked also didn’t know, two of them came with screwdrivers and tried to force the hole open, then we decided to rather go, before they break the car!
Back home without diesel again. But then the lightbulb switched on… maybe the car must be ‘on’ for the valve to open. And voila, without any force, hard words or screwdrivers, it softly clicked open to be filled with the excellent, premium, super diesel from the orange nozzle at Total as we now know. I did not mention that on the third effort one after the other garage was either out of diesel or busy filling up… but the end of this third effort was successfull.

After all the struggling we had our first braai in France…