We arrived at Carcassonne Airport, a small and convenient airport, only a twenty minute drive to our friends Muriel and Richard’s house. They were very generous in offering us their house for the week. They knew that we had been house hunting in the area, only about forty-five minutes from them. They are excited to know that we will be neighbours soon.
We had our sat-nav (aka gps), but Muriel knew that a sat-nav would not be able to get us directly to her house, so she gave us excellent directions.
The route took us through the village and right up to their doorstep – well, right up to the gates to their doorstep.
You see there was a locked gate just off the street that I had to unlock and physically roll back to open in order to get onto the shared driveway, and then onward to the next gate that had a padlock which I had to unlock and then open for Steve to drive the car through. This brought us up to the side of the house, where we parked.
We had been up since 4am getting ready for our 6:55am flight, so we were ready to open the house, unpack and settle in before going to buy food and drinks for the week at one of our favourite supermarkets, Carrefour.
On the way out we met the neighbour, Francette. She is a lovely lady but does not speak a word of English – only French. Funny enough, we were able to communicate with her through the bit of French that Steve and I know, and with hand gestures. She has a French Poodle. As is with children, dogs are a good ice breaker, and as soon as she saw that we loved her dog there was a connection. By the end of the week we had become friends.
We told Francette that we were going to Provence the next day to visit some friends and that we were staying overnight in a hotel there. She told us that she was leaving to go to visit her relatives for a few days. The next morning as we were leaving, she handed us a hot pink post it with a note written in English, reminding us about the village market on Wednesday. Now she doesn’t speak a word of English, but she cared enough to want us to know about the village market, that she found someone to write this note in English.
We found that amazing. Just let someone tell me that the French aren’t friendly and I will give them a story or two. Now off to Provence we go.