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cheska15 Nov 5th, 2019 09:32 AM

After 4 days in cold wet and grey Lyon it is lovely to be back in Nimes where it is cold ( heater on) and sunny.

We visited lovely places in Lyon and the Cathedral Of Lyon is one of my favourites..The Musee Des Confluences is a magnificent structure The Bascilica Notre Dame was worth the visit. The Parc del la Tele d’or is a stunning Parc that includes a small zoo. We did lots of walking despite the rain, and a favourite was Place Antonin Poncet where the floral art work is fabulous

Lyon is a big city and would maybe look better in the sunshine and without road works in just about every street, and most of the plazas are being refurbished. We did enjoy our time there, however it is great to get back to our mazet, and green Nimes.

Lyon maybe the food capital of France and we had some nice meals, but sadly also had the worst coffee in all of our travels.Being a coffee addict I wasn’t to happy until I eventually found a good coffee shop yesterday.

StCirq Nov 5th, 2019 10:20 AM

It's a sad reality that France isn't always utopia. We are freezing here in the Dordogne. One fireplace is roaring, it's beautiful, the stuff of many people's dreams but the reality is something different - how many hours humping logs in from outside, how many hours keeping it burning so we don't shiver in bed? I love reading about the $300 a night hotels people stay at but that's not us. We're going to Bordeaux tomorrow, so we'll get warm.

Sorry about the coffee in Lyon. I'm not a coffee addict, but a lack of good coffee in France is a serious problem.

kerouac Nov 5th, 2019 10:27 AM

We are entering the season that people who want to stay in France often do not consider sufficiently when they are planning a long stay and have found places with which they are in love in spring or summer. I always tell people who say they want to spend a year in France or maybe even move permanently to come and visit the country in February. If they like it then, they're often good to go. If not, better to think again.

I have turned on the heat two evenings so far this month, and also twice in the bathroom, but soon it will probably switch to every day.

cheska15 Nov 5th, 2019 10:42 AM

The cold doesn’t bother us at all. After all winter where we live in Australia gets down to -7 but sunny and I am one of these weird people who love winter

cheska15 Nov 7th, 2019 01:56 AM

We are feeling pretty happy today. After we had been here a couple of weeks we received a note in the letterbox for a parcel delivery to be picked up at the post office. We were surprised that the parcel wasn’t left as we were home.

When we would leave go out in the morning we would often see the postman and give him a wave, that he acknowledged. This morning there was someone calling out o us while we were inside. Lo and behold it was the postman with a letter that had to be signed for. We are pretty happy that a small gesture of acknowledgement makes a difference.

As the only people who come into the street live here, we have acknowledged all when we see the neighbors . The elder gentleman who walks twice a day, or another neighbour who does speak English seem happy to acknowledge us too.

We did do a lot of research about French customs and etiquette before we arrived, as we would hate to cause offence, and these small things are paying off. Soon we will feel like locals. Well I can dream........

kerouac Nov 7th, 2019 10:36 AM

You are doing exactly the right thing, but if some of them turn on you for an unexplained reason in the future, you should know that it is the sort of thing that happens in small places and probably has nothing to do with anything you may have done wrong. I think that village mentality is pretty much unpredictable anywhere in the world.

cheska15 Nov 7th, 2019 11:04 AM

kerouac we will only be here for six months so hopefully that won’t happen. We have told the neighbours we are here for six months, and I’m sure they prefer that than having new people in for a few days, as this mazet is normally a short term holiday rental. Also we are pretty quiet, as this is area is a residential area of Nimes. There are no apartments or town houses. Very much like my suburb in Australia

Adelaidean Nov 7th, 2019 11:10 AM

Thanks, Cheska, I enjoy ‘checking in’ to Fodor’s to see if you have posted. :)

cheska15 Nov 7th, 2019 12:36 PM

Adelaidean thanks for the kind words.

StCirq Nov 8th, 2019 11:24 AM

I tend to agree with kerouac about February, except that last year February was balmy here, and this November has so far been a b*itch.

Also agree that small village life isn't always as rosy as folks who are passing through make it out to be. You have to be exceedingly careful not to be taken advantage of, even by people you come to know and trust. That said, the vast majority of people are truly wonderful and helpful, and there's no point going around being suspicious of people. After awhile, you come to understand some of the centuries-old family feuds and personal differences and just stay neutral.

cheska15 Nov 8th, 2019 12:07 PM

StCirq pretty easy to stay neutral when you can’t speak the language. We had some men call out to us yesterday as they were talking to all the neighbours in the street. We had no idea what they were trying to tell us. When the man tried to translate he said the word dustman. That didn’t make it any easier to understand. He asked Brittish and I said Australian. He got the kangaroo hop down pat. In the end they gave up, shook my hand and off they went. Put a smile on my face.

StCirq Nov 8th, 2019 03:56 PM

Ah, I don't think I realized you weren't francophones. Yes, that should keep you out of the fray.

I can't imagine what dustman might mean, except perhaps chimney sweep? It's the time of year when we all get the ramoneurs to come do the obligatory cleaning of the chimneys. If that's what it is, your landlord should pay for that and get his certificate.

kerouac Nov 8th, 2019 09:14 PM

Dustman is the British (standard) English word for a sanitation worker (assuming the American term 'garbage man' in no longer PC).

cheska15 Nov 8th, 2019 10:58 PM

Oh ok thanks to you both we will let the landlord know.

TDudette Nov 9th, 2019 02:32 PM

As others, happy to see your latest Nimes news!

rhon Nov 9th, 2019 02:58 PM

I am still following. It will be interesting to see the lead up to Christmas. Looking forward to hearing about it.

margo_oz Nov 9th, 2019 07:14 PM

Another follower here.

I'd be interested in hearing about the logistics of visas, etc., when you have a minute. This is one of my dreams and Nimes area is one of my favourite parts of France.

cheska15 Nov 9th, 2019 10:02 PM

We applied for a 12 month visitor visa. If you go to the French Consulate website, complete the visa wizard ( long stay visa) you will see the list of documents required. We are retired so it was easy to sign a stat dec saying we would not work in France. You must attend an appointment in Sydney and there is no way around that, so I hope you don’t live in Perth. If you are a couple, then two seperate applications are required.
The tricky bit for a lot of people is the financial requirements as the consulate does not state how much a person must have. The rest of the documents are pretty straight forward. A police check, health insurance for 12 months, and proof of accommodation. We have been fortunate to have a lease for 12 months. We will have to leave after six months though as the owner is going to renovate. This does not bother us. We decided on holiday rentals, as normal renting in France can be complex. You don’t have to have a lease type accommodation, you can have 12 months hotel accommodation. The visa costs 99€, and on arrival in France you have to validate the visa at €250. That is per person.

You may like to join the Aussies in France FB page as in the group their is Aussies applying for a titre sejour group. Lots of useful info and a great group.

Two months before the visa ceases we could apply for another year if we wanted to. We won’t do this. I would recommend that if anyone has this dream go for it. My only issue is life here would be even better if we were fluent in French. We are trying.

jacooper Nov 9th, 2019 11:05 PM

Hi Cheska

I’m another Australian who would love to spend some extended time in Europe. So far, ten weeks is the longest we’ve ever stayed there. I would like to spend six months in the UK and do short trips to various other parts of Europe.

Can you tell me if you’ve rented out your Australian home while you’re away? It’s something we would have to think about doing to help offset the costs. If so, how did you do that?

cheska15 Nov 9th, 2019 11:32 PM

jacooper. Yes we are renting out our house in Aus. We went through a real estate agent. Make sure you research for the best agent and use recommendations if you can. Our insurance would not cover our house if it was vacant for more than 60 days. We also have landlord insurance ($370) on top of our normal house and contents insurance. And of course any income will be liable for tax from the ATO. We can claim a few things though. Different scenario if you have a mortgage, as this probably would be negative gearing.

Something worth noting is that Germany has a visa waiver program with Australia. What this means is that as long as you arrive and depart Germany from a non Schengen country, you can stay in Germany for 90 days irrespective of how long you have been in other Schengen countries. We emailed the German consulate just in case our visa wasn’t approved. If a person was to do this I recommend carrying the email with you when entering Germany. Better to be safe than sorry.
Hope this helps.

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