Thursday, 15 January 2009

We woke early the next day, croissants and hot tea beckoned. The weather wasn't great,damp and foggy; most unlike the image we had of sunny France. By the time we had eaten,washed and dressed the skies had cleared so we set off in our hired Twingo to Jarnac. With a pile of printed web images on my lap, we discussed how we would make the move, renovate, decorate and eventually live in our dream home. We were excited and totally blinded by the dream.  We knew, only too well, that the renovations would mean back breaking work, a good command of the French language and the frenzied waving of cheque books. None of these thoughts dared to cross our minds as we headed down the duel carriageway towards our first viewing.
As we approached Jarnac the traffic seemed to worsen; an unusual sight in France with their notoriously empty roads. We soon discovered the reason for the bottle neck. Jarnac was getting a bypass and the subsequent road works were proving chaotic for drivers.
We headed over the old bridge with the Courvoisier building on our right and turned left into a car park. By now the sun was shining and although the sound of the lorries roared on in the background, we had discovered jarnac!
We were amazed at just how beautiful it was. The Chateau De Courvoisier surveyed the old town with an air of superiority amidst the faded grandeur of its surrounding, ancient buildings. The Charente meandered gracefully past the weir, under its beautiful stone bridge and onwards towards Cognac. Substantial properties, with their blue and grey shutters and creamy stone facades lined the main street, behind carefully planted trees. And past the neon sign of the pharmacie were florists, gift shops, cafes and hairdressing salons; we were already feeling at home.

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