Or I should say the Euro. While the world markets shake, rattle and roll and the global economy implodes, here in Semur the value of a dollar is as solid as a rock. I mean really what can you get for a dollar these days? A handful of candy? Nope. A coffee? You couldn’t even buy the foam on a latte for that. Sure even everything at these so called ‘dollar’ stores costs $1.99. And okay one Euro is a bit more than a dollar, $1.40 Canadian today to be exact but that’s besides the point.

Almost daily I’ve walked past these magnificent doors and longed to see what treasure was hidden behind them. The other day there appeared out of nowhere a brass plaque announcing daily visits every half hour. Well now, two tickets s’il vous plaît.



Well the door alone is enough to make you bow down to the French as masters of the universe and well worth the one Euro entry fee but this is what’s behind Door Number 1…

I know, I know and this is only one part of it. The house itself was off limits you know seeing as there’s someone living in it. This is somebody’s actual house. As in this is what’s waiting for them after a long, hard day of…well, I suppose yachting or purchasing fine art.

We were given the tour by a sweet little teenaged guy who seemed very jazzed by the history of it, how it had been ‘taken back’ by the people during the revolution, how Voltaire and his ladylove the Marquise du Chatelet hung out here concocting the Age Of Reason.

We walked the grounds for about half an hour while the kid told us everything there was to know about this spectacular place. How’s that for a summer job? It’s gotta be better than flipping burgers right? Or maybe not. He did an amazing job but the whole time he was talking I was looking at him and wondering how much flak he takes for being the town’s resident history geek. Poor guy having to spend all day telling the same story to grey haired women who yell at their bedraggled husbands to pick up the pace on the picture taking.

But I think he’s probably alright. About an hour after we left I saw him sauntering down the cobblestone street trailing a thick cloud of French cigarette smoke grooving to the sounds from his super slick headphones as hip and fly as any kid I’ve ever seen. Still he’s got a thing or two left to learn, I would’ve paid him any price he asked.