British Tourist Trapped in French Town Hall

by Ella FAIRCHILD on September 18, 2009

A female tourist from Britain has made headlines in France after an embarrassing gaff that left her sleeping in the lobby of a town hall.  The woman, who does not speak much French, spotted the hotel de ville and thought it was a hotel.  She walked in to use the restroom before checking in to the impressive looking “hotel” and in that time the meeting in the hall ended and officials left, locking the door behind them.

The town hall or hotel de ville in the small town of Dannemarie is one of the most impressive buildings in the city and could easily be mistaken for a luxury hotel.  Dannemarie, a small town of just over two thousand near the Swiss and German borders, does not even have a hotel; in fact the nearest one is in a neighboring town.

The woman, who was a lone traveler in her thirties, realized her mistake too late and was forced to spend the night in the lobby of the town hall.  She tried to signal passersby by turning the lights on and off but no one noticed.

She came up with a second plan which was to write a large note in French and pasted it on the inside of the front window.  Unfortunately, her French isn’t so good, so her note did not have an immediate effect.   She might have spent even more time had it not been for a passerby who finally figured out her cryptic note.

The note, which read in English, “I am to close here. Is it possible me the door to open?,” only served to confuse most of those who read it.

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