"In exactly five years, the 15th of July at 3 pm, we'll cast off. Agreed?"
They shook hands and looked out over the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean fizzed at them and Janne suddenly saw the road ahead of him. Work. Very hard work. And patience.
He came from Helsingborg and had never sailed, not even to Helsingör. And now he was supposed to sail around the world.
Three years further on, the two friends returned to the harbour in Helsingborg. The dock was crowded with people and two JAS fighter jets were looping welcoming in the sky. Janne was delighted. "Anything", he thought, "is possible after this!"
Ten years later he had found a ruin in the small French village of Marseillan. The real estate agent who had been trying to sell this gigantic ramshackle house on Rue Galilée for years, was noticeably shocked by the fact that Yanne decided to buy it in a split second. "I'll take it", he said as soon as he entered the house.
Everything was covered in thick dust, the shutters were banging back and forth, the walls had huge cracks…but Janne didn't even notice. Instead, he saw a dream come true. Bed & Breakfast. He was going to create a paradise.
Exhilarated at the potential of the house, he searched it floor by floor. Thick stone walls. Life-threatening wires. Broken toilet. Degraded kitchen. He tried the kitchen faucet and when all he got was a hissing sound, he suddenly saw the road ahead of him. Work. Very hard work. And patience.
Ten months later, the 13th of July 2016, Rue Galilée B&B was inaugurated. Janne had worked around the clock every day until he fell in the dust and had a few hours of sleep in his overalls, which by then felt like a second skin. The Mayor cut the blue and yellow ribbon, the champagne corks flew – and the party began!
The party is still going on. Because at Rue Galilée you get the best of the best. Heavenly beds, tastefully decorated rooms with luxury ensuite bathrooms, a well-stocked bar, fantastic dinners and a delicious breakfast with freshly baked bread. Janne throws himself whole-heartedly into the many different roles in the house as breakfast host, bartender, dish washer, receptionist, bike renter, cleaner, laundryman and resident DJ.
"Isn't it very hard?"
"Sure, but it's all worth it!" says Janne with a smile. "For the sake of the meetings and all the great people I get to know."
"But still", I insist?
"Don't you understand? ... Earlier, I had to cross oceans in order to meet people from all corners of the world – today, I just have to open my front door."
A warm welcome to Rue Galilée! And for more information regarding my book about that incredible boat trip, please have a look at www.braveorstupid.com
Best wishes, and I hope to see you soon.
Janne "Yanne" Larsson