Sunday, July 27, 2008

As with the last post made were I answered one of those frequently asked questions ,Why gites? I'm now going to aswer another of those questions, Why The Vendee?
The answer is a little more streight forward because from the out set I had a strong feeling of where I wanted to be. I love the sun and light and open air, infact one of the other reason for giving up sailing was a back and neck injury which ment i lost a lot of the use of my hands, to such an extent that I would be talking to people and I hear a glass drop and break and look around to find who was the culprit, only to find it was me, though I could swear it was still in my hand. Another residual problem is i suffer from SAD, sun addiction dificency or what ever its called so i get depressed without good light.
With those factor in mind i wanted somewhere where there was a lot of sun yet not to far away from England and my family, also I wanted it far enough away so that friends would have to put a little effort into visiting and not just crossing the channel on the hop as to say, turning up unexpectingly.
A close look at a weather map of Europe and it becomes very clear that the Micro-Climate of the Vendee/Charente-Maritme area fulfilled all my needs, with sunshine hours to equal the best of the south of france. I didnt want to go into the Dordogne as this was, so i was told almost all English with signs like "French spoken here" and besides it was getting to far away from the ferries. Likewise i didnt want to go too far up into the vendee as the micro climate slips a little as you head north. In the end i choose the first house on the first day, it was on the edge of the Lucon-Fontenay le Comte praire as far inland as the micro climate extents in the south of the Vendee. In those day (17 years ago) it was like England in the 50's, slow pace of life, friendly neighbours who spoke to you, polite children and no traffic, infact we used to joke that in Fontenay if there were two cars together you were in a car park.
Oh how things have changed, though to be truthful there are still no parking meters or traffic cops and even in places like La Rochelle where you have to pay to park near the harbour it will not cost you a fortune and in typically french fashion they allow you 2 hours free for lunch (How civilised).
There are other reasons for choosing the Vendee but i will leave that to my friend Tate who writes:
If you are looking for a holiday in France why visit the Vendée? After all it’s just a strip of coastline with a flat plain behind it, isn’t it? Well actually no it isn’t. The Vendée is without doubt one of the jewels in the French holidaying crown. Who says so? Well actually the French, but they say it quietly because in typical Gallic style they like to keep the best for themselves.
For years the French have visited the Vendée for their holidays, to enjoy the exceptional climate, the miles and miles of exquisite sandy beaches and the sleepy rural communities. In fact the French liked it so much they chose to build their holiday homes, not in Provence, or on the Côte D’Azur but on the Vendéen coast. Now the secret is out and the Vendée is fast becoming a popular destination for holidaymaker and émigré alike, READ MORE>>>

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