In France, there are two types of property tax, taxe foncière, which is paid by the property owner, and taxe d’habitation, paid by the resident as of January 1 of that year.
View from my front door
After seven years, I am moving out of my rental in Brittany. I still plan to visit the region every year, but maintaining a year-round house is too much.
View from my bedroom skylight
I consider myself an expert at moving, but there are a few things that are different from moving in the U.S. and moving in France. One has to do with the condition in which you must leave the home (more on that in an upcoming post).
Gulf of Morbihan oyster beds
Another difference is that you have to think to “cancel” your taxe d’habitation, or so I thought. I couldn’t remember when I moved out of my rental apartment in Paris in 2012 if I had notified anyone in the tax office of my departure. But I don’t think I had to then, because I was moving within Paris.
Gulf of Morbihan
After getting nowhere with this question by emailing with the Centre de finance public in Vannes (Morbihan), my local office, I decided to just show up in person.
Morbihan coastline (Saint–Gildas-de-Rhuys)
The woman who helped me was very nice and there was no wait. But that is where the positives about my visit end. I explained my situation, that I was moving out of a secondary residence July 5th and needed to stop my monthly automatic tax payments. Then our conversation went something like this:
Her: You don’t have to do anything.
Me: But how will the tax office know I moved?
Her: They will see you live somewhere else now.
Me: But I am not moving to a new second home. This is/was never my primary residence. Will the real estate agent notify the tax office? [Note: I knew the answer to this question was no, but I thought the question might help her understand my overarching question.]
Her: No, it’s automatic.
Me: But how will they know I will?
Her: They will. C’est comme ça.
Me: It’s like what?
Her: How do I explain this…. [look of frustration with me]… There are people in each town. They know where people live.
Me: But how? They will come to my house and see if I’m home?
Her: They just know.
Me: But I have only been using the house occasionally. So how will they know this time when I leave, I’ve actually moved out? Will the owner of the house notify them? [Note: again, I know the owner will do no such thing, but…]
Her: No, it’s automatic.
Me: But I have automatic monthly payments set up.
Her: Then you can just end them.
Me: Right now? But don’t I owe for all of 2019? I am allowed to just end the payments without proof of moving out?
Her: Here, call this number [she hands me a very small piece of paper with a 1-800 number]. They can tell you.
Me: [Realizing we are getting nowhere] OK, thank you.
Morbihan coastline (Quiberon)
So to recap: I got absolutely nowhere. I will try calling the number she gave me on Monday.
Having finished all the mainland segments of Brittany’s coastal trail (the GR34) and many of the islands, I’m now at 1,461 miles logged since November 2014. Here are all my GR34 photos to date.
Bay of Quiberon
I plan to finish the last few remaining pieces of this sentier cotier, also known as the sentier des douaniers (coast guard or customs officers’ path), in Summer 2020. I’m only missing the islands of Bréhat (Côtes d’Armor); Ouessant, Sein and Molène (Finistère); and Belle-Île-en-Mer (Morbihan). Belle-Île is a 100km circuit but the other islands will be day hikes.
Then I’ll have to find a new project!
Included in this post are some photos from my most recent hikes (the full Quiberon Peninsula, and finishing the GR349 liaison between the Presqu’île de Rhuys and La Roche-Bernard, the Petite Cité de Caractère on the border of the Morbihan and Loire-Atlantique.
At the end of May, I was in Brittany for the biennial week-long festival, the Semaine du Golfe. This “Week of the Gulf” is a celebration of the boating history of the Gulf of Morbihan. There is no racing, but numerous other boat-related festivities, including a kick-off and final boat parade… and lots of music, food and drink!
Kick-off boat parade, near Port Navalo
I’ve uploaded a few videos from some of my favorite moments of the festival. This first video is of the kick-off parade, just before sunset. My friends and I were lucky enough to be in the parade, to witness it from the water!
Semaine du Golfe 2019, kick-off parade - Vimeo
This next video is from Larmor-Baden, at the passageway (in low tide only) to Île Berder. This is where the flotilla of smaller boats showed their stuff on the Thursday afternoon:
Semaine du Golfe 2019, small boats parade - Vimeo
Lastly, I watched the final boat parade from the rocks on Île-aux-Moines, as I did two years before. You can see my post about the Semaine du Golfe 2017 here.
Semaine du Golfe 2019, final parade - Vimeo
Rumor has it they are only going to hold the festival every four years from now on, due to environmental concerns with so many people descending upon the region all at once. If not 2021, mark your calendars now for May 2023!
I’ve compiled a few of my favorite photos of Notre Dame that I’ve taken over the years:
There are several ways you can donate to help with the rebuilding. Here is one reliable charity, the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris, a 501c3 public charity (all gifts are tax deductible in the United States).
Lost in Frenchlation has several more events this month and they have kindly offered **two free tickets to the first of Paris Weekender’s readers to email me at email@example.com** and request them. Please note which of the shows below you’d like to attend.
Trailer April - Vimeo
Lost in Frenchlation organizes screenings of French films with English subtitles in Paris with drinks before the film for the international community to meet!
The final part of our Scotland trip was the long but scenic drive from the Torridon to Loch Lomond, via the Cairngorms.
Loch An Eilein
To break up the long drive on this last full day, we stopped for an hour or so to walk around Loch An Eilein in the Cairngorms National Park. While not too different from familiar New England landscapes, Loch An Eilein is a beautiful spot.
Homemade ice cream at the Oak Tree Inn
We stayed at the lovely Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha, on Loch Lomond, and had drinks and dinner at the Oak Tree Inn’s pub. They have a large and inviting terrace. We then followed the route of the West Highland Way past the Balmaha Pier and along Loch Lomond for a little while. I found this side of the lake much prettier than the west side. Albeit, we saw the west side on the one overcast day, the first day of our trip, when we were jet lagged.
Balmaha Pier, Loch Lomond
The last morning, I woke up early and hiked up Conic Hill before breakfast—about an hour and a half round trip. Conic Hill is along the West Highland Way and offers a spectacular view down at Loch Lomond.
View from Conic Hill
On the way back to the airport, we found another Marks & Spencer (mini) food hall in Linlithgow and picnicked just outside the lovely Linlithgow Palace. It made for a nice last stop as it’s only 20 minutes from the Edinburgh airport.
You can see all my Scotland photos here. See my other Scotland posts here.