We depart for France on the 5th January 2012, arriving in Paris the next day (a Friday). We will spend the weekend in Paris and on Monday take the train down to Perpignan (in Languedoc-Roussillon). For the first 3 months we are staying in this region and are based in the village of Saint Chinian, a relatively well known village, central to the highly regarded Saint Chinian wine appellation. Languedoc is the warmest part of France, so hopefully we won’t be too distraught coming from the 35+ *C Australian summer. Saint Chinian is not far from Spain, so we will plan several expeditions into Spain (as well as east towards Provence and the Cote d’Azur.
In April we move up to near the town of St Georges-sur-Erve, near Le Mans in the Pays de la Loire region. We are there for 5 months. Things should be warming up by then. This region is not far from Normandy and Bretagne, as well as the Loire Valley. In July we will spend a couple of weeks in Paris, taking in Bastille day fireworks and the final day of the Tour de France. We plan to cycle into Paris from St-Georges-sur-Erve, around 300km, taking 4 or 5 days to do it (slowly).
In September, we shift to the town of Lucy-sur-Yonne, in the Chablis wine region for 4 months. Things should start to get a bit colder by then. We plan to drive across to Germany while there for a couple of weeks, taking in Octoberfest in Munich.
We will wait and see what we do after our 12 months are up. If we are not homesick and still have the means to keep travelling, we may head off somewhere else in Europe for a few months, but we will wait and see on that one.