Cote d’aZZZur!

OK so the big news is, I got a job! I applied to the International School of Nice and they hired me to start in August. Last week I got the chance to visit the school and meet some of the team. So we will head off on another chapter of our adventure on the French Riviera this time.

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Rich and I set about organising where we are going to live which involved a lot of leg work and a steep learning curve… We had tentatively tried researching online before we visited Nice but, not knowing the area at all, it was hard to fix on a definite area. Luckily we got some advice from the staff members at the school that Vence was a pretty and historic town within a half hour drive of the school. We headed off in that direction and literally went into every estate agency in the town one by one. My vocab increased exponentially as I discovered the importance of location longue durée, meublé, caution bancaire, mètre carré*, etc.  Unfortunately they had no stock, literally no furnished apartments to rent to us. Back to the drawing board. The problem seemed to be that renters only have to give one month’s notice that they are leaving so, in May, we are too early for rentals that may start in August or even July. We were starting to get a bit nervous about leaving it and having to come back to begin the process all over again. We had left our details at about 10 different agencies but we wanted to sort out something sooner rather than later.

The next day we tried a dozen agencies in Saint-Laurent-du-Var (nearer to school) and Cagnes-sur-Mer on the coast but all to no avail until…one agent admitted that she had just had a property come onto on her books that was not yet online and she asked if we would be free to view it the next day. Hooray, finally we had a lead! We eagerly made arrangements then headed back into Vence to attack the estate agencies again with a plan to broaden our search criteria to include unfurnished apartments. Bingo, we found an agent who had an empty apartment available right at the edge of the historic heart of the town. She took us to see it right there and then and we both fell in love! We wanted to reserve judgement until we had seen the other property the next day but all evening we were discussing the merits of the apartment.

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The next day dawned and we viewed the other property but in our heart of hearts we knew that the apartment had already won us over. We went back to Vence and started preliminary proceedings and that’s where we stand now. We’ve got our fingers crossed that it will work out. I’ll post some pictures of the outside of the building and then you might see why it captured our hearts (it’s the big one with the brown shutters on the edge of the square):

 

 

We celebrated with lunch in one of the historic squares and then went back to Nice to do a bit of sightseeing. Can you spot some false façades or trompe l’oeil (optical illusions)?

 

We headed back to Pézenas and enjoyed an evening at the famous 9 locks (écluses) near to Béziers. The Piano du Lac group entertained us with water-borne instruments and an eclectic repertoire of classical to comical numbers. The rain threatened to pour down and there were some dramatic lightning flashes during the performances but luckily the storm held off. I’ll leave you with some photos of the event:

 

After all that excitement I’m off to get some zzzzz’s and to dream about our move to the Côte d’Azur!

À bientôt, bisous.

* location longue durée = long term rental

*meublé = furnished

*caution bancaire = bank guarantee

*mètre carré = square metres

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