HOW TO GET HERE
Conveniently situated on the west coast, the Relais de l’Hermitage St Gilles (formerly Novotel St Gilles) is just 45 minutes’ drive from the two airports of Roland Garros and Pierrefonds.
Here are directions for the hotel:
As you leave Roland Garros airport at Saint-Denis, follow “toutes directions” (all directions) and then “Saint-Denis centre”. Drive through Saint-Denis (along the coastal road). Leave Saint-Denis and keep straight (in the direction of La Possession, Le Port) for 40 kilometres.
After Saint-Paul, the coastal road meets the expressway. Take the exit for “Ermitage, Saline les Bains” and continue in the direction of “Ermitage, Jardin d’Eden”. The road heads down to the sea. Keep straight over two roundabouts.
Turn left at the end of the road and you have arrived!
A FEW WORDS IN CREOLE
In order to best immerse yourself in the Reunion Island culture, we would like to suggest a few phrases that will help you express yourself a bit in the local language. Here are a few words and expressions which are useful for daily life or are perhaps surprising and amusing, and will make your stay all the more enjoyable.
Let’s begin with:
Oté la Réunion, comment y lé ? : Good morning the Reunion Island, how are you?
Answer : lé la : Alright
First of all, some nouns and verbs :
A ou : you (singular)
A moin : me
A nou : we
A zot’ : you (plural)
Mi : I
Li : him
Zot’ : your/you (plural)
Mi aime a ou : I love you
Mi di a ou : I tell you
Mi ça va : I’m going
Mi coné pa : I don’t see
Our local melting pot :
Malbar : an Indian of the Reunion Island, from the coast of Malabar in India
Zarab : a Muslim Indian from the Indian peninsula of Gujarat
Kaf, Kafrine : person who arrived from Africa at the time of colonisation
Z’oreilles : Mainlanders. This was the nickname given to the colonisers who did not speak Creole and strained their ears (“oreilles”) to try and understand.
Manm’zél, ou lé belle : Madam, you are beautiful! Be careful how you pronounce this as “lé bel” also means “you are fat”.
Marmaille : A group of children.
Yab : A white Creole inhabitant of the highest point of the island.
The essentials :
La di la fé : gossip
Bat’ un carré : walk
Mi aime zot tout : I love you all
Note that when giving directions, people do not say left or right but ou mont : you go up
ou descend : you go down
Often repeated between sentences is “oté” which can express amazement, surprise and joy and is used to call people in the street.
You are now ready to have a great holiday !
Nou ar trouv’ : Bye for now