Monday, February 22, 2016

House hunt in France, September.

Thought i'd start a new blog series about moving house to the French countryside and trying to go organic.
Firstly the house hunt, we didn't look at many houses in actuality because we'd become so savvy at exploring possibles on the net and then painstakingly google earthing them, the first house we went to see in real life was in Villefranche Sur Saone, a lovely half timbered (lost timbers) 17th century affair with a little walled garden. The drawback was access, as at this time I had in mind the plan to buy a motor home, there was no way we'd get it around the narrow corner lane at the back of the house, but we could live with that,  just.  The reason we chose that area was because it was relatively close to Lyon, where Amanda's 3 kids were now living after bringing them all up in a small industrial and unfortunately voted by its locals, as the most boring place in france to live; Oyonnax! They naturally wanted the bright city lights of Frances nearby, second biggest city, Lyon.

Villefranche was only around 40 mins drive north of Lyon, much closer than the hour to Oyonnax.
It's not all bad in Oyo, they have their mountain skiing around them, one cross country skiing place is only a 15 mins drive up a little mountain. However, this year the snows just didn't arrive!

We fell in love with the Villefranche house and even partially measured up! From the bedrooms we could see directly into a medieval manor house gardens and a historic tower, though their massive tree that shadowed the garden whilst we were viewing gave us early autumnal chills and was thus another point against it from an organic veg growing aspect.

As we left we asked the estate agent, just how close was the huge motorway that cuts Villefranche in half was? And he said it was around a kilometer away, so we waved goodbye, happy with his reassurance.

This is where it all fell apart as I decided to hunt out the motorway, drove in its direction, under a low bridge just around the corner and realised with horror that it was only around 50 meters away behind just one row of houses and the motorway was above that bridge we'd just driven under!
One of my only stipulations was that it had to be in a pollution and noise free zone and this was anything but pollution free, so this became our first disappointment after checking out the prevailing winds would fully pollute that side of the road area.

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