If you travel regularly the occasional drama will befall you and it always seems to be in the most unlikely places. When I was relaxing in my hotel in Germany after a busy day at the nearby theme park the last thing I expected was to be evacuated from my room. This could be why my reactions weren’t quite as quick as they might have been.
I had spent an enjoyable day at Europa Park, a quite brilliant theme park close to the Black Forrest. I was staying in a family run hotel in a small village nearby and was relaxing in my room engrossed in a book. Just when I was about to lay down to sleep the door of my room burst open in dramatic fashion and owners’ son burst in announcing that I had to go outside because of a fire. As I could no flames or smoke, the situation did not appear to be an emergency and so I was reluctant to jump out of bed as I was wearing only my lingerie which was rather nice but not for public exhibition.
The gentlemen, however, seemed quite stressed and would not leave until I showed signs of movement and so I eventually got out of the bed pulled on some clothes whilst he stood there and then made my way downstairs. When I arrived in the hotel garden I was rather shocked to find smoke billowing out of the rear of the building and flames licking at the walls. The fire brigade had arrived and were scaling the walls and I realised that it was quite an emergency after all. I was also concerned that I had rushed out of the room without any of my valuables.
I spent over an hour watching the action before the fire was finally extinguished and I was allowed back into my room. Feeling safe once more I undressed and was standing naked in the middle of the room when a loud knock at the door was immediately followed by the young gentleman rushing in again. He explained that next door could not get back in their room and that he needed to access their balcony by climbing out of my window and jumping over. There I was completely naked nodding at him like an idiot. To his credit he did not bat an eyelid at my state of undress and had soon reunited next door with their room. As he came back through the window we both succumbed to a fit of the giggles amidst profuse apologies.
I visit the same hotel almost every year now and my new friend, who turned out to be called Johannes, has always resisted the temptation to mention the incident or crack any obvious jokes about not recognising me with my clothes on. The building was not badly damaged in the incident and as far as I am aware has not suffered any dramas again but I always think of that night whenever I go there and I have never ignored a fire alarm since.
Article by Sally Stacey