Living in the French countryside…..
On the 28th of august 2007 we moved to the “Domaine du Bac” (French for “the ferryman’s house”) in Ray-sur-Saône. Ray is in the departement Haute-Saône (indicating it is in the upper reaches of the Saône river) and in the region Burgundy-Franche-Comté. This region is well known for its wines, cheeses and organic produce.
The first part of the domaine we bought, “la Maison du Bac“, was built in 1840, as a ferry man’s house indeed, but totally restored in 1997. The house was enlarged and equipped with all modern comfort. The house measured 238 square meters and a large garden of 33 acres. In 2013 we bought the rest of the domaine, thus acquiring another 200 square meters of living space and 17 acres of garden. Since then, the entire “Domaine du Bac” has been our property.
In spite of the quiet and calm of the Domaine du Bac, we were ready for a change in 2022 and we decided to sell the property. A sales contract was signed on the 14th of October, and shortly after we found a comfortable appartment in de city of Nîmes.
On the river…
The Domaine du Bac was built on a raised patch of ground in the flood plane of the Saône, about 150 kilometers downstream of its source. The river was rather narrow and shallow there, but after heavy rains it could swell rapidly. Sometimes our access road was inundated, cutting us off from the outside world.
And the ‘locals’? …
The “Raylois”, the inhabitants of Ray-sur-Saône, were friendly, rather liberal, used to strangers and foreigners and – as all countryside folk – terribly curious. From our very arrival we have been received hospitably with a lot of esteem and respect and we have made many friends locally since then. As everywhere, Ray had nicer and less nice people, and just as anywhere else one picked out the nice ones and let the rest be. As there was a lot of space available here, no need to bother one another.
After having sold the Domaine-du-Bac, we have rented an apartment in the city of Nîmes. But the noise of the city – and the noise of our neighbours in the flat – began to bother us. So as of November 2023 we will move to a rental house in Barjac (Gard) to have the silence and the quiet back.
Click here for a photo series of the Domaine du Bac. (It may take a minute to load!)