I saw a Sunday Times article about the conversion of the old harbor in Dives sur Mer into a marina with new homes built around it. After an inspection visit I bought one, a neat two-bedroomer which I was able to configure with an extra toilet and cupboards before it was completed. It was perfect for long weekend stays in Normandy because of great transport links. The budget airline Buzz flew to nearby Caen, where a car could be rented. A fast hydrofoil ferry went from Newhaven to Dieppe if I wanted to take my own car. Another ferry went to Le Havre, about 20 minutes away. Over a few years I spent many happy weekends exploring Dives and especially nearby Cabourg, a short walk away along the promenade. I could see why Marcel Proust fell in love with the place.
Unfortunately Ryanair bought Buzz and closed its Caen operation. The fast Newhaven hydrofoil was replaced by a much slower conventional ship, and the ferries to Le Havre moved to unsuitable times and took longer. The only viable route left was to drive down to Dover and go via the Channel Tunnel to Calais, then drive to Normandy. The trip took over 6 hours each way, including the UK legs, which was too big an expenditure of time for a weekend away. Reluctantly I sold the Normandy house and bought a flat in Nice. Brilliantly served by easyJet, it took me a fraction of the time to get to and from it. And it was warmer and drier in Nice than it had been in Normandy.