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From in Gers, France


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This Gite/bandb has all modern facilities in a completely restored, charming farmhouse. For those who love nature, history and beautiful scenery it is the ideal place for that long wished-for total relaxation. Information is available on the Internet and in the tourist offices of Trie sur Baise, Miélan and Mirande. Local towns in Gascony are always worth a visit, the Pyrenées are close by (for winter skiing, walking, climbing, the observatory, etc) and the towns of Tarbes and Lourdes are a short drive. Trie sur Baise is 5 kilometres away and this is a small market town (market day Tuesday) of some 2000 people, with shops and cafés around its charming central square. There is also a medium-sized supermarket just outside Trie and a small one in the square. Miélan is somewhat smaller, and market day is Thursday. The Lac de Miélan is a favourite tourist attraction, with many activities available, especially for children. A little further on from Miélan is Mirande, which is bigger than the other two and has its market day on Mondays. Many events take place during the summer months, including the “Porceihade” in Trie (a fun day which includes pig racing) as well as several night markets and very large antiques’ fairs. The two annual world-famous music festivals during the summer, The Jazz Festival in Marciac and The Country Music Festival in Mirande (generally in the first and last two weeks of August), attract the world's best performers. Marciac is also a beautiful market town which has its own lake and sporting centre, with activities for young and old. During the summer it is always fairly certain that the Tour de France cycling race will have one of its stages nearby. From the BandB the Pyrenees are on the horizon, looking straight to their highest point, the Pic du Midi, whose observatory offers a fabulous day out. There is also a good golf course in Tillac, where a large British contingent meets once a week on Friday and organises regular competitions. The ski slopes are about one hour away on the other side of Tarbes and the coast is a two-hour drive (Biarritz, etc). A visit to Spain is a good day out, with Bossost at 90 kms and Vielha at 105. Tarbes is the departmental centre of the Hautes Pyrenées Departement (at 35 kms) and it is a bustling city with the huge Meridien (Leclerc)Centre just on the outskirts, on the road to Pau.

Of course, for wine lovers, the local wine (Madiran) is a delicious must and there are innumerable local vineyards where tasting can take place and wine bought at well below market prices. All the wines of the region are also sold in a cooperative near Marciac at very good prices, although Trie has its own wine shop with basic daily wines at good prices. Armagnac is the brandy of the region and Floc its sweet fortified wine, and both of these should not be missed by the keen connoisseur.

Local facilities are, indeed, good and there are doctors and pharmacies in Trie and the other towns. Visitors who are house-hunting in order to become residents will always receive free emergency medical attention during changeover from being a British resident to a French one, but all visitors to France should make sure that they have either private medical insurance or form E111 (or its new successor) from their own country, which will obtain treatment whose cost can be reclaimed in the home country. On becoming a French resident, medical facilities in France will be the same as for the French; this can vary from 70% of cost to full cost, depending on income. Obviously, if only the basic 70% is possible, then private insurance would cover the extra cost, and this is big business in France.

The nearest airport is Pau (45 minutes to one hour away), which has a cheap link with the UK through Ryanair; after this, the international airport in Toulouse is one hour and a half away.

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