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NewsletterAugust 2011


Dinosaur Footprints

Growing up in California I heard a lot about Bigfoot. But never thought I’d really see some of all places, France! Okay the photo above isn't ‘real’ Bigfoot footprints. These giant footprints are from dinosaurs, found in the Jura Mountains and are over 150 million years old. These footprints are part of Dinoplagne. Dinoplagne is believed to have the largest known dinosaur footprints and be the longest dinosaur path in the world.

French Debt

A lot has been made recently about government debt in both the US and Europe. So much so that French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has proposed a balanced budget constitutional amendment. The French constitution is much easier to amend than its US counterpart. A joint session of both the French parliament and senate must convene in Versailles and the amendment needs a 3/5-majority vote. Another option is a referendum that requires a simply majority by voters.
Getting back to Sarkozy’s balanced budget amendment, now there doesn’t seem to be enough votes for it to pass a joint session. Sarkozy’s UMP party is 35 votes short of a 3/5 majority and opposition parties are unwilling to give Sarkozy a political victory this close to the 2012 presidential election.

Photographic Walks Chamonix Valley

Good friend and Chamonix resident Teresa Kaufman now offers photographic walks – with or without a camera in the Chamonix Valley. We recently went on a photographic walk with her in the hamlet of Montroc. Here are Teresa’s planned walks for August 2011.

French Mortgage

I’ve found an American, Harvey Spicer, who can help you obtain a French mortgage. Harvey has the expertise and will guide you through the process, beginning to end. Unlike some mortgage brokers Harvey makes sure you get all your paperwork in order before sending it off to the bank. This maximizes your chance of getting the best loan possible. Disclosure: Harvey does charge a fee, some mortgage brokers don’t. But as Harvey offers much more in terms of services than many mortgage brokers, the cost is offset by the services.


Joie de Vivre Unlimited: Two beautiful 18th Century houses to rent in the South of France, in the beautiful chic hillside stone village of St Maximin. Each sleeps 8/9 people and can be rented together or separately; This is a first-rate French holiday rental with a walled garden covered with vines, outdoor terraces, swimming pool and private BBQ facilities.
Located in the middle of rows of grape vines, sunflower fields, cherry and apricot trees this is a picturesque setting but only 5 minutes from the Pont du Gard and 4 kilometers from the medieval town of Uzes, that boasts designer shops, restaurants and bars and a famous Saturday market that people come from miles around to shop at.
There are many places to visit within an hours drive of St Maximin: Les Baux de Provence, St Remy de Provence, Arles, Nimes, Avignon, Rousillon and Gordes, Isle sur la Sourg, Fountain de Valcluse, the Camargue with the famous wild horses, St Marie de Mer…

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