Hello, my darling readers!
Since my arrival two months ago, I've already visited the Loire Valley, Paris, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, the French Alps, Lyon, and Florence. I'm going to focus on my home city right now, though--Châteauroux.
I was initially pretty upset that I was placed here, as I was hoping to live in a bigger city, but frankly I'm so glad I received this placement. Not only is everything cheaper (rent is only €260/month, and I get my own bedroom), but everyone here is so amazing. The other language assistants are great (I even live with three others), my students adore me, and the Castelroussins (residents of Châteauroux) love meeting Americans--we're a novelty here!
Market day (Saturday) is so much fun! Both Place de la République (city hall square) and Place des Halles (market square) are filled with stands selling fresh produce, local meats and cheeses, homemade breads, and colorful flowers. This weekend, I discovered that for only €0.80 ($1) per cup, I can enjoy farm-fresh goats'-milk yogurt with fruit mixed in. I tried the fig yogurt and I'm hooked, especially since it's cheaper than grocery-store yogurt! Starting now, look out for me as a regular customer au marché.
Châteauroux is also blessed with a giant nature park called Belle Isle. Within the park you can find the lac (lake) de Belle Isle as well as the Indre River (see above left). The park is teeming with local flora and fauna, and in the spring and summer months the lake is full of fishermen, sailors, and kayakers.
While Châteauroux is a bit more secluded, it's located very centrally in France. For just €15 ($20) and two hours of my time, I can take the train to Paris, and I'm only an hour away from the Loire Valley. Plus, this area is the goat-cheese capital of France--need I say more?
Stay tuned for more travel posts!