Epic Trip Planning Our Adventures

The Ariège

June 18, 2019

Here are a couple of images of our soon-to-be new home town in the Ariège, Ax-les-Thermes. 

It’s a wee ski town and thermal resort, about 90 minutes from Toulouse. Initially I thought it was way too small for us, but a chance connection with a family who spent two years there had me pretty convinced we should give it a shot. 

 I work on the basis that if the kids are happy, we’ll all be happy, so I wanted a town where they could pursue their interests.  Horse riding, hip hop dance, rock climbing, rugby and skiing – tick tick tick tick tick. The schools are small – 80 for the primary school and 200 for the middle school, so I reasoned it would be easier for the kids to get to know others. As an added bonus, the teachers have been really welcoming, emailing us to say ‘bienvenue’ as soon as they heard (via the mairie or town hall) that we were coming. For me, that sealed the deal. 

We are told there are not a lot of Anglophone expats there, it’s a resort more favoured by French and Spanish visitors and there is only one other native English speaker in the boys’ school – so they won’t be able to speak English all day long.  There’s a gondola up from town to the ski resort Ax-3-Domaines and the collège has a dedicated ski programme for top skiiers. Being a ski town it should still be lively all winter, and who doesn’t LOVE a good soak in a thermal hot pool at the end of a day on the slopes?  

We live near beautiful beaches here in New Zealand, so we wanted a different experience for this time away.  We all love  mountain biking and skiing and back in the day Simon and I did a lot of hiking too. We’re looking forward to lots of good outdoorsy family time. 

The Ariège is one of the least-populated areas of France, but rich in history, with lots of medieval castles like the one below and Cathar sites to explore, so there is plenty to keep us busy.

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  • Reply Lisa Birrell June 22, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Looks amazing and a wonderful experience for all of you. I am looking forward to watching it unfold.

    • Reply Christine June 26, 2019 at 8:01 am

      Awesome! thanks Lisa x

  • Reply Fleur June 22, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Looks gorgeous!

    • Reply Christine June 26, 2019 at 8:04 am

      A wee bit souped up I think, but these were the best stock images I could find… this is as much as we know til we get there!

  • Reply Irina June 22, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    This place is stunning, Christine! I wish you settle well into your new routines and meet lots of amazing people who will support you!

    • Reply Christine June 26, 2019 at 8:00 am

      Thanks Irina! I think the colours in these shots are dialled up a little high, but it’s all about the natural beauty right?

  • Reply sandra June 23, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    OMG it looks gorgeous

    • Reply Christine June 26, 2019 at 8:00 am

      Thanks S! x

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