The date for my holidays in June had been planned well in advance but somehow at the end of May the arrangements had still not been made. The original destination was going to be a bit difficult to arrange at the last minute so for some reason that we can’t now recall, we settled on Carcassonne as the destination.
To avoid fathoming out arrangements and piecing them together on the internet we visited a travel agent. As we arrived one of the representatives approached and said:
“Can I help?”
“Yes we would like to go to Carcassonne”
A momentary pause and blank expression followed…
“It is in France”
“You know you won’t be able to go as part of a package don’t you?”
The representative then gathered up a few brochures and logged onto the internet. After a bit of searching he managed to find a flight from Bristol to Toulouse. He then proceeded to book airport parking and a hire car to be picked up at Toulouse airport.
He then logged onto a curiously named website called “Beds to Go” to find a suitable hotel. This proved a little more difficult and one of his colleagues stepped in with suggestions. This was accompanied by quips about visiting a winter location in summer (Toulouse is close to skiing resorts in the Pyrenees). A suitable hotel was found but we had to wait for a couple of days to see if it was available. In the end it wasn’t and we had to execute plan B! This worked to our advantage; the hotel was in a much better location than the hotel that proved not to be available.
Everyone in the travel agents wanted to know “Why Carcassonne?” None of them had ever heard of it, so after asking the question they got a potted history of the area from two different perspectives.
A couple of the representatives told us about their recent training course where they were told that they would have to research holiday destinations for themselves. They were also advised that the best way to learn about places was from their customers. They all agreed they had learned a lot that day.
All in all it took about two and a half hours to get everything sorted and along the way the representative quipped that next year when we went to book our holiday we would be going to Majorca which will take only twenty minutes to book the accommodation and travel arrangements…
I think he may be disappointed (or pleasantly surprised) at next year’s holiday destination ;-)