Graceful living in Italy and France...

The smell of jasmine winds its way down our 16th century cobblestone street in Umbria as I step outside to greet the day.












Friday, October 9, 2015

No car in the south of France? No problem!


My friend and fellow Le Muguet owner, Lisa, has long been a proponent of "smaller footprint" during her visits to our fractional properties in France and in England. At first I listened to her explanations of how to get around Vers Pont du Gard and the area via public transport, by foot or by train and thought "Hmmm. I'm just not there".

Well, guess what? Now that I've become a confirmed cycling advocate, I'm "all in", as they say. Today is a landmark of sorts as I've officially been back in the Languedoc for a month and a day, completely car-free, and loving it.

In August, I strongly considered buying a Vespa-type motorcycle. I did some research, found one that I liked, asked for people's opinions and then came to the conclusion that a scooter would be a perfect addition to one's mode of transportation, provided one already had a car.

Off to the races again, I started looking for cheap but good used cars. Some of you realize that I already own a swell car (it happens to be a truly handsome one as well- a jet black PT Cruiser) but it is parked in Tetbury, UK.   I drove it here last December and the drive was not only grueling but long- 13 hours each way. And expensive! I think gas and tolls amounts to about $350 each way.

Before very long I had found the car of my budget and dreams, a 1996 BMW 325i convertible with 60,000 miles on it and super affordable at only 2500 euros. Score!! Alas, by the time I researched insurance options and how to transfer title from the UK to France, someone else had beat me to the gate and had "stolen" my car. So not fair.

Slowly I came to the realization that I had nothing to lose by investing in a good "velo de route". I found a sweet one on www.leboncoin.com AND the seller delivered it to my doorstep from Nimes. Fifty euros later, off I pedaled, happy as a lark. Truly...gloriously free.

In another blog, I'll describe how liberating my cycling adventures are but for now, suffice it to say that while based at my two dwellings, St. Etienne and Le Muguet, I am one happy car-free gal. I've learned to take the 2 euro bus wherever I need to go, visit friends and grocery shop on my bike, and now, head for our Catalonia on the Sea property via the train a un euro. Life is good!


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