Monday, September 29, 2014

The South of France

I have never walked into a country town I liked and not looked in the real estate window whilst dreaming of buying property there. Yesterday in the South of France was no exception. We drove into a few little perched towns. My favourite of which, was a town called Goult. There was a house there for sale for about 350,000 Euro, built in the 1700's. It's the one the kids are sitting in front of on the rock with the olive tree out the front. It was bulging with olives ready for harvest, the shutters had chippy paint and were just hanging in there and the whole thing had "buying trouble" written all over it.  So why was I in my element standing in front of that house and considering the possibilities? 

 Who can say? I cannot explain my love for France, but it is there all the same.

It's all a dream, because as Mr Beach House said,  'What would you do here?" It's true, once you have done the sites, there's also  alot of sitting around and drinking and eating. You do notice first drinks being poured at around 10am in these parts, as you sit next to these guys sipping your coffee. And I can feel my hips spreading by the day. 

 We don't speak good enough French to run a business, or survive the French red tape of living here, which is affectionately avoided by the French using the system known by the locals as " Le system D". 

   If you want a laugh you can read about what Le System D is here.  It explains why I stood for 10 minutes the other day at the tourist office in Gordes, while the lady behind the desk finished up making her social arrangements on the phone for that Friday evening, before she would even acknowledge my presence in front of her.  Or why at Le Mont Saint Michel, I was left standing at the ticket desk, whilst about three tourist guides pushed passed me to buy up to 50 tickets at a time, which all had to be printed out one by one and signed for, before I could get a look in.  Apparently if they don't make eye contact with me, I don't exist and therefore there is no queue, there is only them. 

 So despite all that and although it's highly temping to up stumps and move the family over here, wholus bolus, I bet the first hint of the Mistral amongst other things, would send me packing back to the moderate climes of the Australian coast anyway.  But it is fun to be part of the last throws of Summer in the South of France and dream of what might be.  Despite it all being a dream and the fact that, the Northern Beaches of Sydney are just as nice, only very very different from this part of the planet, that certain je ne sais quoi will make it very hard for me to leave France and all her quirky in your face rudeness and charms and return home just the same.

Just as an aside, the sculptures you will see further down in this post are owned by Pierre Cardin, who has partially renovated the Chateau in the perched village of Lacoste, which was ruined as so many were, during the Revolution.  The sculptures depict the Marquis of Sade, who built the Chateau and who gave his name to the term "sadism".  He presided over well celebrated orgies in the town and was known to kidnap peasants and do awful things to them.  Ultimately he was convicted and gaoled for 30 years for his sadistic pursuits..

Some query whether Pierre Cardin's lavish sponsorship of operas in the town these days, is leading to a new phenomenon known as Cardinism. Who cares as La vie certainly is belle in the South of France.

I hope you enjoyed a little trip around some of the pretty towns of the Department of Vaucluse in the South of France. 

For more travel stories go here.

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  1. Oh Carolyn! I'm so enjoying your trip to Europe. You see the things I would like to see. The bulging olive trees, sipping wine/coffee, the chippy paint. All of those things, let alone the food. You really are having a grand time. Thanks so much for sharing. xx

  2. Those photos are beautiful! France is such a great place. Especially the olive trees create such a unique feeling :)

  3. Your images are gorgeous and it certainly does look like the South of France enjoys a wonderful end to its summer. I can certainly understand why you would be tempted to pull up stumps and move to France - as long as you can overlook their rudeness! xx

  4. Caro, these photos are just fantastic. I'm there with you, doing some armchair travelling and loving seeing France through your eyes and lens. Keep the photos coming... and we need to see you in more... so hard to organise I know. Your observations of life in France are good too. A morning treat to read here in Oz.

  5. beautiful photos! I love the south of France, but I so know what you mean about living there. We can dream...

  6. You've brought back some beautiful memories for me :)

  7. This is such a great post! (Found via the Wanderlust linkup). I'm like you - perusing the real estate windows...finding 'great' home in far-flung spots around the world. But I think you're right - the actuality of life there would be something else. I was watching a cute cottage in Normandy on one of the real estate websites for months, then I realised that the reality for Australians with school-aged kids is that the biggest amount of time we could spend somewhere like that (as a holiday house) is when it is sooooo cold it would be miserable! :)

  8. Oh wow, this is just beautiful!! I too love to go to the real estate and dream of living different places. Luke more so than me actually, but still, I like to do it in places I really love. :) This looks absolutely amazing. :)
    Thanks so much for linking up with Wanderlust. :) I hope you'll join us next month as well!

  9. Lovely! We look at property signs too haha! In all sorts of countries - just window shopping! Love the pics, I am surprised you don't water mark them, especially as you put them on Pinterest, I would love to know your thoughts behind that, as I am learning so much about photography online at the moment. Anyway gorgeous post and I hope you find a spot that you just can't leave!

    1. Hi Serena
      I used to do it, but now I don't have time. People can just edit out the water mark if they want to steal your shot so I don't bother.


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