It was about 5 years ago when we first decided to make the move to France after Dave retired from the police. Like so many others before us, we watched one of those 'relocation' programmes - and it seemed like a good idea! We felt we would be ready for a new challenge and lifestyle, and have always loved the French way of life.
After much research and discussion, and a few more holidays spent in France, we decided that the ideal area for us would be somewhere south of Toulouse!! We love the climate that far south, the secenery is beautiful, and the Pyrenees just a short drive away.
19th July 2009.
Our first house-hunting trip! We decided to start our seach based in the Ariege, so set up camp at a very friendly campsite just outside Pamiers. We had already been in touch with several agents and had a folder full of properties that we were very much looking forward to seeing. Seduced by glorious sunny weather, fields full of sunflowers and spectacular views of the Pyrenees, we set off for our first day of house-hunting in the Gers, about 2 hours to the west of where we were staying. Lovely houses...beautiful scenery....a promising start!!
However, on the second day we met up with Sue and Kay from http://www.midi-pyrenees-properties.com/ to view a number of properties in the Ariege.
Having had lengthy email correspondance with Sue before arriving in France, she knew exactly what we were looking for, and sure enough, we knew that the first property she showed us was 'the one'!! An old farmhouse - mostly beautifully renovated, but 'to be finished'...in such a lovely spot with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and glimpses of the Pyrenees - so we would be able to see when the snow arrived! We spent the rest of that day and the next hurtling around the Ariege countryside viewing a number of other properties - all so interesting and different - but we had already made our decision! We knew that the Ariege was where we wanted to live, and that 'La Maire ' was the house that we would like to buy!