We’ve landed in Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Apparently most people arrive by ferry, but since we’re super classy folks we flew. The flight from St. John’s was only about 45 minutes and once onboard we were enclosed in France. This left Dale and Michele tongue tied as they quickly realized their French was lacking. Elise managed to resurrect French from her elementary school brain—then later thanked the customs officer in Spanish.
Our taxi driver from the airport didn’t speak English and seemed disinterested in our mangled French. Getting him to warm up seemed futile, until a quick stop at a bank for Euros had him chuckling. We stayed in the car while Michele went to the bank and watched as she hopped about waving her arms trying to trigger the automatic door only to realize there was a side door. After that his character softened, we told him about our project and he told us he was Parisian. We’ve unanimously decided he’s solid calendar material, so expect a follow-up on Monsieur Taxi.
After checking into room 213 at Hôtel Robert, we took to the streets to find some French cuisine and a litre of red. Le Feu de Braise ended up a charming choice. We did have trouble convincing our extremely nice and helpful waiter, Emmanuel, not to speak to us in English. His patience with our language struggles was as good as the food.
A few hours wandering in Saint Pierre hasn’t told us much. Even online we had difficulty finding history about this place. We’ve heard tales of people being paid to live here and that it was previously known for smuggling booze. Someone even told us that Al Capone spent time here. So, tomorrow’s task is to dig up some history and get to know the locals.