Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
Oh, great. That’s our local mayor there in the picture leading the charge for a/the new Toulouse-Castres motorway. It would mean people could get from Toulouse-Blagnac airport to here in under one hour. The idea is it’s good for everyone because it would dramatically increase tourism to all the towns and villages within the area of the Haut Languedoc regional park
From left to right, Mazamet is the third commune at the bottom. We’re the gateway to the Montagne Noir.
Now I fully understand the economic importance of this sort of thing- the problem is it comes at an incredibly high cost. When they created the new motorway connecting Malaga airport to Sotogrande, everything changed. We had been a little, quiet, peaceful community (also on the edge of a natural park.) Suddenly we were flooded with people buying second homes. Construction boomed. Tourism was multiplied by five. Property prices skyrocketed (as did local taxes). We did get better infrastructure, but for that we gave up almost everything that had initially attracted us to the area.
France being France, I’m hoping the bureaucracy for this project delays it by many decades. It was so hard to find a town the exact size we wanted, with the right size and style of house, with the right size of garden, and walking distance to everything. I know it sounds selfish, but I don’t want it to change. I’m perfectly content for our house never to see an increase in value. I really don’t want to have to move again in 10 years. This is my town now. People should go look for their own towns somewhere else.