After our delightful travels (including a week in York – which I LOVED – and a week in London) we arrived in Carcassonne on July 29, purchased our home on July 31, and then started the amazing journey of transforming our home.

Above: Here’s our home from our garden behind the house.

Our home’s stats (I’ve added some photos below the stats):

  • Built in 1930
  • 4 stories
  • 4500 square feet
  • We think the property is between a quarter to a third of an acre
  • We purchased the home from Doctor Jean-Pierre Cabibel – he and his family have lived in the home for 45 years. (I am so looking forward to learning more about the history of our home and the furniture he gave to us.)
  • In the garden – huge lavender bushes, 1 fig tree, 1 plum tree, 1 fruit tree yet to be identified, tomato plants (we’ve already enjoyed their delicious tomatoes) and 1 olive tree (Dr. Cabibel cured his own olives from the  tree)
  • Stunning views of Carcassonne’s medieval walled city from the top 3 floors, and only a 10 minute walk from the medieval city’s gates
  • 10 minute walk to the “newer” part of Carcassonne (The Bastide), with shops, grocery stores, and the train station. (“Newer” – well, in Europe, it’s all relative. The Bastide was founded in 1290.)
  • A 20 minute drive from our house to Carcassonne’s small but wow-it’s-amazing international airport, served by RyanAir. (I’ll post more about that on my blog, which is almost ready for prime time.)
  • We have heard it has stunning views of France’s 2nd largest firework celebration on Bastille Day (July 14) – second only to Paris. We’ll have a view of the celebration from our 2nd and 3rd story balconies. We’ve been told the fireworks last an hour or more.

The French are notorious for removing EVERYTHING from their homes when they sell their homes – from appliances to light bulbs. But our situation was completely different. The 80-year-old Dr. Cabibel downsized dramatically, his children live in Mexico and Singapore and wanted very little, so he offered to leave us whatever he didn’t need. We don’t have a full count yet, but so far it looks like:

  • 5 beautiful wardrobes
  • At least 7 other pieces of furniture with history, possibly more
  • 4 or 5 beds
  • Lots of patio furniture
  • Untold amounts of linens and towels, some hand crocheted (which reminds my cousins and me of our mothers)
  • At least three sets of dish ware, plus various silver items
  • Three bidets (not kidding)  🙂
  • Working fridge and freezer, plus all kitchen appliances
  • And so much more – it’s an amazing treasure hunt!
  • Much of the furniture he left for us was his grandparents’ – I assume it dates back to the late 1800s or so. Such amazing gifts.

He and his family also left a lot of “stuff.” So today began “Project Cleanout.”

When we did the walk through on Monday July 30, his niece, Camilla, who’s Danish, was there from Denmark (Dr. Cabibel married Brigette, a Dane, who sadly is no longer alive), and Camilla shared with us her 25 years of memories of coming to this home every summer. The Cabibels held all the big family parties. Camilla’s memories are priceless – especially special since we had just spent 5 weeks in Denmark. There are many Danish mementos in our home.

Here are some more photos:

Above: First lunch in our garden





Above: Jeff removing the metal “Awning Rack” from our 2nd story Dreaming Deck; “Awning Rack” removed, and these photos show our 2nd story view of the Medieval City in the distance. He’ll get rid of the rest of the metal after his tools arrive in our shipment.

View of the medieval walled city from our third-floor balcony


The salon on the second floor and sliding doors to our dreaming deck


Third-floor hallway


Kitchen – so French!


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