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May 2

May I Tell You about Paris in May?

Paris is always beautiful, throughout each of the Les Quatre Saisons, no that is not just a name of a Pizza! (the four seasons.)

But people tend to say that Paris is at her best in May...

Now, wouldn’t you like to see that for yourself?

Paris in May

Bien sûr, you may! just join us on Twitter or Facebook today as we will be 'tweeting' some images of Paris later on.

...and to bring a little Paris culture into your day how about a song?...

Click here to view the video of...

'PARIS IS AT HER BEST IN MAY' ('J’aime Paris Au Mois De Mai')

 By Charles Aznavour & Dianne Reeves

Blog submitted by: David at The French Property Network - Cle France.

Add CommentViews: 4525
Jul 24

A Beach in the Heart of Paris

With the return of summer comes beach season.

Volleyball, bikinis, and ice cream, what more do you want?

Because France is surrounded by water on 3 of her 5 sides, you are bound to find a beach you’ll like and we have many coastal properties for sale across France to tempt you.

Tu veux faire un petit plouf (want to make a splash) in the Atlantic? try Aquitaine properties for sale.

Try a beach at Les Sables d’Olonne, a beautiful beach town in Western France, we have many houses for sale in the Vendee.

Prefer une petite baignade (a little dip) in la Méditeranée? Can’t go wrong with the options on our property for sale on the French Riviera down south or even our properties for sale in the Languedoc region in the south west of France

Want to sunbathe on the sand but still look up to see the Eiffel Tower? Sorry, Paris is landlocked. No beaches there… or are there?

Paris Plage 1

In 2002, Bertrand Delanoe, the newly-elected mayor, decided to bring the beach to Paris. August is a prime time for vacation, and many shops close down for a few weeks. It’s the perfect time to head out to the beach. Some people aren’t able to leave the city, but that’s no reason to not be able to feel le sable (sand) between your toes. The banks of the Seine river are  blocked off to host various beach activities including volleyball and sandcastles. To top it all off, il y a également des palmiers (there are also palm trees)!

At first, there was only one beach on the Rive Droite (The Right Bank of the river). Four years later in 2006, an additional beach was opened on the Rive Gauche (The Left Bank). Paris-Plage as it was called would henceforth be known as Paris-Plages (notice the –s?). The budget for the improvised beach has been cut in the past few years, but thousands of tons of sand are still brought in.

Paris Plage 2

This year, Paris-Plages is back for its 15th year. It opened on le 20 juillet (July 20th) and will run through le 23 août (August 23rd). In addition to the normal oversized lawn chairs, Paris-Plages is introducing some new events this year for everyone! There are chances to win entrance into the Louvre museum (they sponsor Paris-Plages and have a stand), see cute animals, and see The Little Prince and his plane. Want to learn Tai Chi? You’re in luck – there are free lessons! Coca-Cola has put into place quite a few sports: le football, le disc-golf, et le badminton, par exemple (soccer, disc golf, and badminton, for example). In August, there’s a dance competition on un grand dance-floor on the beach. And that’s not all! You can read all the events planned here. It’s all free!

Paris Plage 3

So, if you have the “misfortune” of being “stuck” in Paris and want to get out to the beach (or if you can’t decide between staying in the city or going to the beach), look no further than the Seine river! Just don’t swim in it.

Cle Mortages 

Blog submitted by: Alex at The French Property Network - Cle France.

This blog was originally posted on The French Language Blog pages.

Add CommentViews: 4462
Oct 29

La Dame Blanche (The White Lady): Mont Blanc

Bonjour mess amis! (Hello my friends!)

One of the best experiences of driving in France was actually leaving France, no wait... that does not sound right! BUT driving through the Mont Blanc tunnel through to Italy (and back) is a fantastic experience, if you ever get the chance you should do it, if you have done this journey then tell us how it was for you!

Mont Blanc

I thought it might be interesting to study un peu de Géographie (a little Geography). Histoire/Géographie (History/Geography) was a combined course in French schools and part of the standard curriculum in the early 1990s. Students would call it Histoire/Géo for short and I clearly remember the green cahier (notebook) dedicated to the class. It was one of my favorite classes in 6ème and 5ème (6th and 7th grades, respectively) and one that ignited a passion for History (and to a lesser extent Geography) that I still harbor to this day.

If you happen to be a Francophile like me, you probably have heard of Mont Blanc (White Mountain), the highest peak in the Alps and coincidentally, the tallest summit in the European Union. Mont Blanc is part of the Massif du Mont Blanc, a mountain range in the Graian Alps that covers part of Italy, France (part of the Rhône-Alpes region) and Switzerland.

Ever since la première ascension (the first ascent) in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard, Mont Blanc has remained one of the most popular go-to destinations for those hardy souls who enjoy l’alpinisme (mountaineering) and l’escalade (rock climbing). Attempting to climb Mont Blanc is neither for the faint of heart nor for those who suffer from le vertige (vertigo/dizziness). Reaching an altitude of 4,810 m (15,781 ft), the mountain can be very unforgiving, as evidenced par la mort (by the death) of seven climbers in the summer of 2014 alone. A sad affair indeed, however, for those who reach le sommet (the summit) the view is breathtaking as you can imagine (and measures only 30 m in length).

Mont Blanc became internationally renown as the site of the first Jeux Olympiques d’hiver (winter Olympics) in 1924. Hosted in Chamonix, a small ski resort on the north side of the mountain, Mont Blanc went from being a regular ski destination for locals in the early 20th century to becoming a world renown resort for more extreme sports such as ice climbing, paragliding, Wingsuit flying and extreme skiing.

Should you ever have a chance to visit the Alps, whether in Italy, France or Switzerland, consider taking a detour to visit la Dame Blanche (the White Lady). Both beautiful and deadly, she inspires a sense of awe and wonder that reminds us just how small and finite we really are.

Blog submitted by: Alex at The French Property Network - Cle France.

This blog was originally posted on The French Language Blog pages.

Add CommentViews: 4460
Jul 9

Cle France agents boast many other talents!

One of our agents just sent us a drawing he did in between viewings in Limoux, very good indeed I am sure you will agree and goes to show Cle France agents are not just good at guiding you through the buying process in France, they also boast many other talents!

Limoux is in the department of Aude, deep in the south-west of France, part of the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

Cle France images of Limoux church

Add CommentViews: 3095
Oct 8

Why I love the city of Lisieux

Let us take a look at the interesting and historic city of Lisieux in Pays d'Auge area of Calvados, Lower Normandy. 

Lisieux is only 30 to 40 minutes from the ports of Caen and Le Harve, it is the main town of the Pays d'Auge (more on this later) in the department of Calvados in the region of Lower Normandy and it is a good place to get to know a little about French cheeses and ciders. There are large street markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays where you can buy anything from French cheese to French clothes.

A lot of people, however, come to Lisieux as a place of pilgrimage based around the cult of St Thérèse, the most popular French spiritual figure of the last hundred years. Passivity, self-effacement and a self-denial that verged on masochism were her trademarks, and she is honoured by the gaudy and gigantic Basilique de Ste-Thérèse, completed in 1954 on a slope to the southwest of the town centre. The huge modern mosaics that decorate the nave are undeniably impressive. The faithful and tourists alike can ride on a "petit train" around the holiest sites, which include the restrained, by comparison to the basilique, Cathédrale St-Pierre.

Properties in and around Lisieux that are generally in high demand are the traditionally constructed stone or colombage (half-timbered) styles. Other styles are readily available at a better price as the colombage properties tend to demand a higher price but you get a lot of charm and property for your money.

Basilica of Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux.

The Basilica of Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux was constructed in honour of Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux, who was beatified in 1923 and canonized in 1925. It was built for pilgrims who came in increasing numbers to venerate the new saint in the town where she had lived and died.

Château de Saint-Germain-de-Livet.

As its name indicates, the Château de Saint-Germain-de-Livet is situated in the commune of Saint-Germain-de-Livet. It is to be found opposite the village church which dates from the 19th century. The château has been owned by the town of Lisieux since 1958 when it was donated by the Riesener family.

From an architectural point of view the château comprises a half-timbered manor dating from the 15th century and a glazed brick and stone building from the Pré-d'Auge dating from the end of the 16th century.

The chateau combines medieval and renaissance elements and is surrounded by a moat and a peacock garden.

Saint-Pierre Cathedral.

Lisieux’s Saint-Pierre Cathedral is a rare monument which survived the 1944 allied bombardment. Even though the cathedral has been around since the 6th century, the church we see today must have been constructed between 1160 and 1230 by Bishop Arnoul.

From the outset, the architect designed quadripartite rib vaults and flying buttresses, making it one of Normandy’s first gothic buildings. The nave is fairly austere and is inspired by the Gothic style of the Ile de France whereas the most recent parts of the building were constructed in the 18th century (the chevet, the lantern tower and the western façade) in Norman style.

It is wrongly claimed that Henry, the Count of Anjou, the Duke of Normandy and the future king of England married Eleanor of Aquitaine at the cathedral in 1152. Having been involved in the trial of Joan of Arc, Pierre Cauchon was in fact named as Bishop of Lisieux in 1432 and is buried there.

A little about Ste-Thérèse of Lisieux 1873 - 1897.

Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for own lives than in volumes by theologians.

Yet Therese died when she was 24, after having lived as cloistered Carmelite for less than ten years. She never went on missions, never founded a religious order, never performed great works. The only book of hers, published after her death, was an brief edited version of her journal called "Story of a Soul." (Collections of her letters and restored versions of her journals have been published recently.) But within 28 years of her death, the public demand was so great that she was canonized.

Over the years, some modern Catholics have turned away from her because they associate her with over- sentimentalised piety and yet the message she has for us is still as compelling and simple as it was almost a century ago.

Therese was born in France in 1873, the pampered daughter of a mother who had wanted to be a saint and a father who had wanted to be monk. The two had got married but determined they would be celibate until a priest told them that was not how God wanted a marriage to work! They must have followed his advice very well because they had nine children. The five children who lived were all daughters who were close all their lives.

Tragedy and loss came quickly to Therese when her mother died of breast cancer when she was four and a half years old. Her sixteen year old sister Pauline became her second mother -- which made the second loss even worse when Pauline entered the Carmelite convent five years later. A few months later, Therese became so ill with a fever that people thought she was dying.

The worst part of it for Therese was all the people sitting around her bed staring at her like, she said, "a string of onions." When Therese saw her sisters praying to statue of Mary in her room, Therese also prayed. She saw Mary smile at her and suddenly she was cured. She tried to keep the grace of the cure secret but people found out and badgered her with questions about what Mary was wearing, what she looked like. When she refused to give in to their curiosity, they passed the story that she had made the whole thing up.

Pays d'Auge

The rolling hills and green twisting valleys of the Pays d'Auge stretch south of the cathedral town of Lisieux and are scattered with magnificent half-timbered manor houses. The pastures here are the lushest in the province, their produce the world-famous cheeses of Camembert, Pont L'Évêque and possibly the smelliest of them all, Livarot . And beside these are hectares of orchards, yielding the best of Norman ciders, both apple (pomme) and pear (poiré), as well as Calvados apple brandy which should come with a health warning so please drink in moderation!

Learn more about "Whats On" in and around Lisieux.

 Basilique de Ste-Thérèse.

 Cathédrale St-Pierre.

 Le Grand Hotel.

Blog submitted by: Sharon at Cle France.

Add CommentViews: 9610

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Detached House with Character

Bucolic Countryside Setting

MNB06465 - Normandy

Price - 76,000 € FAI