The town where I live in France (St Amand Montrond) is a little like stepping back in time. There are hardly any cars on the street, this makes a nice change from the busy of streets of London which can be dangerous at times. Since arriving in France two weeks ago I have taken the opportunity to explore the town by foot and by bike.
There is a beautiful canal that runs through the centre of the town called 'le canal du Berry'. The sides of the canal are surrounded by sandy paths, large chestnut trees and old fashioned street lamps. There are various walks that you can take along the river and in the surrounding country side that range from 2km to 20km. I haven't been brave enough yet to try any route longer than 5km but I am hoping I will venture out soon. I have been lucky enough to be able to borrow the bike of one of the other language assistants in the town and took a an evening bike ride through the town. This was particularly interesting as throughout the town in the evenings there is a pathway of lights that guides you around the historical sights of the town. These include the 'le musée St Vic' which is the town's museum. The building is set in beautiful grounds and it is a sand coloured building with several turrets, a bit like a small castle, it looks like something you would find in a fairy tale. The path also lights up many old houses which really highlight the traditional style of the town. I loved going on this bike ride as I got to learn bit about the history of the town where I am living and I was exercising. The best part of it is that it was free!
The weather since my arrival in France has been great with an average of 20ºC each day (compared to the temperature where I live in England for this time of year, it is very hot for me). The great weather has allowed me to explore the beautiful scenery and meant that I have walked a lot each day. It is great being outside and discovering things I would not have seen if I travelled by car everywhere. Although walking does not seem like a typical sport it is a great way to keep fit and discover places close by and further away if you are feeling energetic. St Amand Montrond has great walking/cycling opportunities, on certain weekends there are organized walks by the tourism offices that take you to places normally missed out of routes. There is a walk this Sunday that is 14km that is around a local boating lake. The other language assistants in the town and I have challenged ourselves to try and complete it. Wish us luck!
So there we have it, since I have arrived in France I have been a lot more active than I am in England. Keeping fit seems to be easier when the sun is shining.
Do you like exercising outside?