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Why the South coast of France to live?


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We invested our money in a home in the south of France, signed to buy nearly 12 years ago. It’s in a lovely, small, historic town which is friendly and to which hundreds of French people, among others, retire each year.

We had visited for 20+ years, knew it in all seasons before buying, love the countryside around it.

We don’t stay in the summer, avoiding the worst of the heat and the height of the tourist season
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But, ALBF, isn't retirement not one big holiday?

Doesn't a retiree want to keep away from concrete jungles and endless car jams, city dumps as exist around Paris.

NB Unfortunately I do know that very few retirees get what they would like. I do appreciate that my opening sentence is an aspiration rather than fact for most. Though not perhaps on this forum. Grr. Why do you have to be so socially insensitive - you clearly say you have money.

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[quote user="alittlebitfrench"]Yes but, these regions have severe floods every year and in summer they have severe wildfires.

Not sure I would invest my money in the south of France.

Well, not near a river.....or a forest.

Then there is the crime and the poverty.

Great for a holiday, not to live. Or retire.[/quote]

So. We live in a town on a ridge at least 10 metres above the nearest river.

We are surrounded by vines and olives, no forest nearby.

We didn't buy our house as an investment, that is a typical Brit concept. Somewhat odd for someone who purports to have a French mentality.

Crime - several people have been convicted of speeding, and a couple of young kids broke into a neighbour's garage two or three years ago. No-one is really wealthy enough to attract thieves, and local deaths and injuries have been due to natural causes, 2 or 3 suicides, domestic accidents, and one industrial accident in the eighteen years we have been in this town and the nearby village.

There is some poverty, not really evident in our town. No beggars or rough sleepers on the streets as in Paris and other French (and British) cities. We ourselves are not particularly wealthy.

Retiring. We have lived in or near this town since we retired, and have no complaints about it, nor the local facilities and administration.

We moved here to moor and use our boat on the nearby Canal du Midi. Now the boat is sold, we drive into the Pyrenees and to Spain, or occasionally to the Côte d'Azur, where I worked for a few years, and know fairly well, but find a bit expensive now that we no longer live just for the day.
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Two hours from the coast is simply inland.

I live near the coast now, I was brought up near the coast and for all I loved living in the mountains, I missed the sea.

So I live near the coast again and for all I miss the mountains now, I would miss the sea more if I didn't live near it.

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Idun - how many times have you purposely visited the seaside in the last month. Is it just the thought of you can if you wanted? How long is the drive for you (including traffic delays) from the sea in a "holiday" context rather than Jarrow docks.

I certainly appreciate the beauty of living near water but does it need to be the sea, ocean or freshwater? - or any?
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You must have preferences and presumably made the choice to work where you have by taking into account those preferences as well as work opportunities/ social circumstances etc.

So - as I said frequently to my offspring - engage brain before opening mouth (or in this case keyboard) in saying you are impartial.

It is interesting that you actually say that you have no idea where you would prefer to live, though somewhat bizarre for you to continue by saying definitely not to the south.

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Regarding your first point. Life in France is not that simple.

Our choice of location was limited to one place. We had no choice but to move there, based on logistics, budget and family. Thankfully where we ended is actually the best place we have ever lived in France. It was by chance.

Once upon a time we had to live in Lyon. I hated the place.

Your last point, if I won the loto and and was given the choice to move anywhere I would actually stay where we are. My criteria for a place to live are:

1) God logistical access to the whole of France. I can do most places in 4-5 hrs. That is the most important criteria. I like travelling around France.

2) Good access to doctors and specialists. We have them all.

3) Young, vibrant and prosperous. We have that. I don't want to live in a graveyard.

4) People are calm and drive safely. People are calm here and drive safely.

5) Good access to excellent shops ,supermarkets and things to do. Sorted.

§) No hunting in my garden.

Not bothered about whether, countryside/views or the type of house. I can do that on holiday. I can live city, town or rural. I can live anywhere as long as all the above boxes are ticked.

For a holiday home, I would buy a flat in Paris and a flat in the mountains.

Regarding the South, people are tooo hot headed for me. Lyon is probably the furthest South I would go but even then the difference between Paris and Lyon is huge. People are far to aggressive in Lyon for my liking. Not my thing.
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So ALBF you do have preferences, many of which will change due to circumstances, age etc. but hey - in reality you did choose to live in Lyon for some reason

Your ideal reasons are in the main very positive.

I'm sure there must be some non-aggressive Lyonaise people about. Perhaps you associated with the wrong sort?.

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No, we had to live in Lyon because we had to live in Lyon.

I would live in Lyon again because it ticks most of my boxes. Well except the driving. People complain about French driving. Well, go and live in Lyon for two years. They use their cars as weapons. Psychopaths is the only way to describe it.

Lyon is an aggressive and harsh place. If you are from Lyon then fair enough and people from Lyon love Lyon. No probs with that.

I don't think it would suit many that come from more 'laid back' countries or areas of the world.

I would not let my kids go to university there.
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A neighbour was from Lyon and I visited her family with her. She was in her car with her kids and I was in my car with mine. And I had to follow her at her break neck speed including priorite a droits. At one particular priorite a droit, I  actually closed my eyes as I turned into the road ahead, I really did, I couldn't bear to look, 

I quite like Lyon, the folk are OK. I know that lots of the montagnards in the Savoie did not like them, as they found that as the lyonnais could see the mountains, they believed that they knew them, and they did not. I always heard worse things about the lyonnais than the parisiens.

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