Brit tourist locked in French town hall overnight

Why name a building “hôtel” if it’s not really a hotel?

That’s what a British tourist ended up thinking after she popped into the hôtel de ville in Dannemarie, France on Friday night.

Unfortunately, she hadn’t realized that “hôtel de ville” translates to “town hall.”

Just when she might think it’s her lucky day to find a bathroom before checking in, the day proved her wrong. At that same moment, officials in the building wrapped up a meeting and exited, locking the doors shut.

She called for help. She flicked the lights on and off. But she couldn’t get the attention of anybody on the outside–until Saturday morning.

She did it by posting a note on the inside of a window, which caught the eye of someone on the outside. The British woman couldn’t speak fluent French, but she got her message across. Her note said: “Je suis fermer ici. Est ce possible moi la porte ouvrir?” (I am to close here. Is it possible me the door to open?)

Even when she was a free woman on Saturday, she wasn’t entirely lucky. As a town of only 2,500 people, Dannemarie’s hotels were booked and the only rooms available on Saturday night were in neighboring towns.