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2012-May-21 - France Trip 2012 - Move to hotel in Narbonne (Monday)
Windy all day.

This morning we said a fond farewell to our boat.

I rang up the hotel to confirm our booking and they told us that we needed to come either before 12.30 or after 14:00.

This meant that the race was on to pack our suitcases, back out of the boat, clean up inside, have Nicols tick off the list and get from Le Somail to Narbonne.

We had managed to break a bicycle stand but because we had experienced some leaks in the boat canopy and we appeared to have a maritime ants nest on board with us they said we did not have to pay for it.

The taxi was booked for 11.00 am and came about 20 minutes late but apart from that the transition was smooth.

Our hotel room is small but cheerful and fortunately on the 1st floor.

Once installed, we set off to the Euro Car hire office near the railway station.

I thought that Perth was the windy city, but it has nothing on Narbonne.

Once we were on the main road passing the railway station we had to lean in to the wind to make any progress down the street.

We arrived at the Euro Car office 15 minutes to opening time so instead headed off in search of lunch.

We found a very reasonable buffet with some much missed salad and vegetables in one of the café / bars along the main street.

About an hour later we turned up at the hire office and took possession of the vehicle without any problems.

It is a little diesel Renault which should be economical on fuel and easy on parking.

Linda volunteered to be the driver because she thinks I'm pretty crap at it - and I was happy to avoid the stress.

After sitting in the car for 10 minutes to become familiar with the controls, Linda pulled in to the traffic and did a good job of navigating back to the hotel.

The main problem occurred when we found that there was no parking at the hotel and we had to go round and round the one way street system until we found a position.

Linda was freaking out with the narrow streets (one way with cars parked on both sides) and the local drivers just sat on our arse and sounded their horns whenever she slowed down to think.

I talked Linda in to the spot we managed to find and then we walked half a block to the hotel.

In the meantime they had managed to find a reserved place for us in their parking allocation and we jumped at it - it will be well worth the extra money each day to know that we have a definite fixed parking place.

The receptionist took us several doors down the street and showed us an entrance way through a narrow tunnel. By now it was 4.00 pm and we decided to head down to the tourist office to ask for some maps of the town.

We found ourselves walking along the main commercial thoroughfare with many shops, cafes and narrow winding streets.

At this stage none of the restaurants were open until 7.00 pm so we walked back to the hotel along some of the interesting back streets, had a nap and then had another go.

Very few premises had opened - probably because the wet, windy weather is keeping the tourists away. We managed to find somewhere to eat but I would not describe the meal as memorable.

I have noticed some buildings well out of square - they look ancient.

Plus many interesting wrought iron balestrades.

Tomorrow I plan to go on a bit of a photographic expedition and capture a few images.

The Hotel Regent

The Hire Car

Is this the street where they have the VD clinic ?

Narbonne balconies

Winding streets, sagging buildings