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We are stuck here


Georgina

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When we bought our house here we knew that if required, we could get back to England relatively cheaply courtesy of Ryan Air or BF. Now RA have cut flights completely and so have Flybe and BF lo and behold there are no more ferries the rest of this month!!!! AGH. If this had been the case when we bought, we certainly would have reconsidered. Just a rant for discussion.
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The Roscoff/Plymouth ferry stops in January and if I remember correctly has done for several years - St Malo too. Surely if you really want to get out you could travel to Rennes by train and fly from there or fly to Paris and fly on to to the UK ? Not cheap but if needs be they are options....

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You can take the Condor ferry from St Malo via Jersey to Poole/Weymouth/Portsmouth which are year round services.(Jersey to Poole & Weymouth are fast ferry and the Portsmouth route is operated by a slower traditional ferry that operates in all weathers.) Also I think a lot of expats in Brittany overlook comparing the comprehensive year round airlinks between Jersey and most airports in the UK operated by BA, Flybe, Easyjet, Jet2, BMI Baby, Blue Islands, Aurigny, etc. Just take the year round morning or afternoon hour long St Malo to Jersey high speed ferry as a foot passenger and then a ten minute tax ride to the airport.
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I visit Finistere quite a lot, Brest & Roscoff are probably not more than an hour an hour and a half from most of the department, St Malo is a decent schlep in comparison, neither is it on a direct train line - I can understand how Georgina feels, something she was hoping would be quick and easy now involves more time and more expense...
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When I came to live in France there were no such thing as cheap flights here.

One had to take the train or coach, or pay even higher prices to fly, assuming no car.

I believe that Ryanair brought a a new sort of person here, less committed to a permanent full-time stay, as did the abolition of the need for a Carte de Séjour.

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[quote user="NormanH"]When I came to live in France there were no such thing as cheap flights here.
One had to take the train or coach, or pay even higher prices to fly, assuming no car.

I believe that Ryanair brought a a new sort of person here, less committed to a permanent full-time stay, as did the abolition of the need for a Carte de Séjour.




[/quote] One does rite pompous like dont one. [:P]

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[quote user="NormanH"]When I came to live in France there were no such thing as cheap flights here.
One had to take the train or coach, or pay even higher prices to fly, assuming no car.

I believe that Ryanair brought a a new sort of person here, less committed to a permanent full-time stay, as did the abolition of the need for a Carte de Séjour.

[/quote]

Normy, there is a place for you, with your desired isolation, and language; Sercquiais the native Norman dialect of the island spoken by the inhabitants of Little Sark.[Www]

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I am in the same neck of the woods as Georgina and back in the good old days pre 1994,we used to have to travel to Caen if we wanted to visit here for our holiday home, no choice in the matter as there were no ferries from Roscoff from November to March due to the boats being serviced usually and St.Malo was such a long crossing with two toddlers and very expensive in those days too with four berth cabins both ways and if it was rough as it always was in winter, horrendous. If I had to get back to the UK now in an emergency I would either drive to Pleutuit (Dinard) and go to Stansted or go Brest to Paris by Easyjet and then take the Eurostar or simply go to St.Malo or Cherbourg,Le Havre or Caen in the car and catch a ferry - its not totally cut off, just a bit of inconvenience. I never set much store by RA, they were never a definitive proposition here when you see the details of the subsidies and decisions by Guipavas etc.  Condor are good in the spring and summer, too much loading and unloading otherwise.
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Long ago and far away, when I lived in France as a child (well, I was grown up, but I'm a LOT more grown up now..) my journey to where I was living in France consisted of a train journey to Manchester, then crossing the city to the other station for a train to Euston, then crossing London for a train to Dover, then ferry to Calais (or sometimes train to Newhaven and ferry to Dieppe), then train to Paris, cross Paris, train to Nancy, change again for train to Epinal...

And there were 24 of us in a shoe box and we used to get up before we went to bed, eat gravel......

I may be a different class of person these days, but I'm very grateful for Ryanair[:D]. Why, even if I take a scheduled flight to Bordeaux, I  have to add about an extra 3 or more hours to allow for shuttle bus to Bordeaux centre, train to my nearest station and goodwill pick-up by a friend or neighbour. Apart from the relatively minor inconvenience of reaching Stansted, I know that I can be out of the airport at the French end and putting the kettle on at home B in under an hour. But then that's mainly thanks to people generously offering to come and meet me.

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[quote user="Georgina"]When we bought our house here we knew that if required, we could get back to England relatively cheaply courtesy of Ryan Air or BF. Now RA have cut flights completely and so have Flybe and BF lo and behold there are no more ferries the rest of this month!!!! AGH. If this had been the case when we bought, we certainly would have reconsidered. Just a rant for discussion.[/quote]

Sorry, but I don't feel any sympathy at all ... if you are in the north part of France, albeit rather to the western end of it - you have plenty of alternative options.  Yes, they may take slightly longer ... but you have options from train to other airports to other ferry routes.  Think outside the  box as  they say - you are still within one day's journey whatever you do. 

Down here in the south, any journey north other than via RA takes at least 24 hours including getting across whichever bit of sea you decide to cross ... I know I've just been checking my best route for the next visit back - even RA is not convenient for the dates and locations when  I need to be there - so my options remain long distance car travel and /or long distance ferry. I knew that moving south meant longer journeys - fortunately I did not base my choice of location of ease of travel back to the UK, but where I wanted to be in France.  Hence minor irritation when one of the options is not suitable - as far as I can see there are plenty of options for travelling back to the UK, from most parts of France - you just need some lateral thinking.

 

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As Idun knows, I live in southern Sweden and travel to our house in the Charente as often as I can, a little matter of 2,000 km each way. We start the down trip at 2.00 am to be able to get a ferry from Denmark to Germany (a monopoly, so you pay the fare or stay ashore) then drive 750 km through northern and western Germany, a few minutes through Luxembourg and finally arrive, knackered but chuffed, in Metz, which is just over halfway.

Still, this is the last winter and the last spring we'll be doing it, retirement looms and then the trip to sunny Charente will be one way only, I'm not complaining, I'm loving it!

 

(we do get a bit of a longer summer than you up in Finisterre tho', so my sympathies there)

Allez les Bleus!

Fureys

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RA got into France cheaply with the help of subsidies from small provincial airports, now their contracts have expired in many of these airports and the local CCI and ¨Prefecture will not renew them because they have asked for too much or have parted on bad terms and times are hard. Other airlines are seasonal only and then if demand drops, they pull out, they can't operate at a loss or their shareholders will complain. No one should buy a property abroad just because there are cheap flights nearby,mostly they don't last long and those that continue,will hike their fares to make it pay. BF make a lot of money out of freight all year round (my BIL found it cheaper to sail from Portsmouth to N.Spain  with his lorry in 24hrs rather than pay hundreds of euros in tolls and diesel andtake the same time, they used to have boats that went to the Port of London docks and often you could get an emergency passage if they had room.
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When we lived in Lot et Garonne I was very aware of our dependance on cheap flights from Bergerac to visit family. I wasn't so much worrying that they'd stop flying from there (lots of British in Dordogne!), but rather that they could easily have doubled their prices and everyone would have to just put up with it.
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we've used Limoges airport ,courtesy of Ryanair for 8 years and I must admit I thought the cheap fares would have ended years ago, but no they are still available !Granted, there is limited availability during the winter, but I thank them heartily every time I make a booking.
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