(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Sunday, May 4, 2008


In 2006, on another of my French property searches, my friend Christie and I flew over to check out some houses I found online. First was down to an area on the coast (thus my le Viaduct de Millau photo), houses in Béziers and Pézenas. These areas, although lovely, were not for me. But, I had been eyeing an ad for months of an artist's home in the village of Bruniquel. Bruniquel is a small, fortified village perched high on a hill overlooking the Aveyron River in the Tarn-et-Garonne département. It has steep, windy streets, so steep in fact that the house I was enchanted with had street-level entrances on the 1st and 3rd floors.

Many times I still think of this amazing home. It cost more than double the price of my Brantôme spot. Even though the exchange was far better in 2006, it was still more than I ultimately felt I should pay. It was actually 2 houses (like my property), but everything was done in the most amazing and beautiful fashion. The house offered two 4-Star Chambres d'Hotes. Ultimately, as lovely as the house was ... my heart was still captivated by the Dordogne and I was gently tugged back. Everything in this house was "done", much of it in my taste but ... I will have the pleasure (and challenge) of transforming my home into my own.

The village itself was quite remote, and dead in the off season. It is an artist's enclave ... and not many full-time inhabitants. It was lacking many services ... only 1 restaurant and a tiny market, more of what we would classify as a 7-11! and no market days. and no shops. But oh what a beautiful spot. breathtaking really. the doors alone were worth a trip to the village. I definitely intend to drive over once I'm in France. There are 2 castles, one 12C and one 15C. Many of the artists' ateliers are open to public in summer months.

Here's a few pictures ... the ivy-covered building is one of the entrances to the house I was considering.


alisa said...

Looks lovely, but I like what you bought better. I think it's important to have a village with a little life to it...even if it's just a market day. Brantome is so beautiful and I know you will be so happy there.

Alisa said...

We visited Perpignan and Narbonne and Maury last year and although it was beautiful it wasn't for us either. 2 years ago we fell in love with the Dordogne but then this year we really fell in love with the area we are moving to....the west side of the Aveyron, bordering the Tarn-et-garonne...the gorges and the Averyon river and the countryside and the hills and well I could just go on forever...