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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Strasbourg tour - Day 3

So today was the day I was not looking forward to. We left the hotel this morning and went to Strasbourg to pick up our guide for the day, Jacqueline, who was to take us around the northern part of the Alsace wine route. The last time I worked with Jacqueline she ran late all day, jeopardising an important evening function we had to make, frequently got lost, and had no knowledge of any of the towns we visited. We had words, is an understatement. However, I arrived to pick her up this morning with an open mind. Another day, another job, she had the benefit of the doubt. So we headed off for Rosheim. We hadn't moved 200m before she said, 'sorry I wanted you to turn right there, I should have said!' So, now going in the right direction, we have to listen to her wittering on for the next 20 mins about her being born and raised in Strasbourg and her mothers pet name for her as a child. I'm told to take the next exit off the motorway which, guess what?, was the wrong way! So after doing a 'U'y I'm back on track and we're heading into the medieval town of Rosheim. At the bottom end of the Main Street is a medieval arch which she has asked me to drive through into the Main Street. With the dimensions of my coach being 8ft wide and 11'9" high and the arch being marked 7ft wide and 10'3" high, I've told her I won't fit. Didn't go down well! 'I always take coaches through this arch, it must just be your coach'!...... I don't think so! So the next 3 towns we were meant to visit after that were all by-passed because of low bridges, while she tells the group that wine is made from grapes.

So our first stop for the day has now become our wine tasting at Robert Black's in Obernai. By this time I have steam coming out of my ears because we haven't visited the places on the itinerary, and now she seems to be trying to cut our day short by wanting to arrive back in Strasbourg for 1430 when we are not due to leave Obernai until 1500. At this point I rang our office, to let off steam more than anything else! So feeling better for having a good rant, I caught up with the group for the tour of the cellars, but had to miss the tasting :-( From here we moved on to the centre of Obernai where they had a short walking tour and free time for lunch. 

Then when timings were mentioned, it all became interesting. When Jacqueline said we would leave at 1400, the group organiser told her that wasn't long enough. She dug her heels in and was trying to insist. At this point, I cut her microphone, told the group to be back by 1500, and told Jacqueline that if she wanted a lift back to Strasbourg, that is when we are leaving. Very satisfying!

So although where we went today was all very nice, everyone felt a bit disappointed that they'd missed out on these little towns, myself included. So Jacqueline did come back to Strasbourg with us and was dropped off just before 1600, where another group were there waiting for her, and it all became clear that she was rushing to get back for them. Well you picked the wrong person to mess with, Lady!

But that wasn't the end of the day's adventure. We had just crossed the German border to find the German police doing some sort of random vehicle check. We were just about to pass them, and I thought we were getting through, when at the last minute they noticed 'there's a woman driving that English coach' and pulled me in. I opened the window and was asked where we're going, to which I replied, 'Hotel Garni, room 309! (Cheeky wink!) And would you believe he just let me go! I had to make sure I was out all evening then tho in case I had a knock at the door!!

Anyway, I'm starting to feel more comfortable with this group now and the the group organisers took me out and treated me to dinner this evening. We had a pleasant evening, good food, good company, good wine. So after today, it can surely only be downhill from here?