My morning run in rural France

by Kim on November 18, 2013 · 26 comments

Europe by train: Day 3. Caussade, France.

I’ve only been in rural southern France for 3 days but I realized in an instant that these roads are a runners dream. I’ve already explored them for hours, setting out alone down the empty gravel streets to the sound of the birds in the trees and my own rhythmic breathing. The air is crisp, the clean cold of November. It smells like damp grass and, at times, the winds blow in the aroma of snow.

When I talk to my Dad on the phone he laughs and says, “Now, let me guess, France is your favorite place?” It’s true that I’m always gushing over each new country I visit, cartwheeling with infatuation. I can’t help but become overcome with the newness of everywhere I have never been before. Like any great love affair, the electricity of anticipation leaves me giddy.

Oh, how happily I could live for awhile in Southern France with it’s faded gradeaur and regal charm. And I have mentioned the cheese?

So.much.cheese. Which is precisely why this little running routine of mine is absolutely crucial.

Why don’t you come along with me on my run through rural France this morning?

My run through rural France

I put my shoes on in the coach house foyer of the French chateau I am staying in.

Running in rural France

I walk off of the property and turn down the road towards this cemetery where my run officially begins. When I reach the next cemetery, a few miles down the road, I’ll know to turn around. I call it my graveyard-to-graveyard run.

My morning run in France

The road is empty and stretches into the countryside for miles.

My morning run in rural France

I run past working farms and the occasional rural home, their shutters opened like a smile to let in the dim morning light.

Morning run in rural France

I reach a fork in the road.

Run in rural France

I can turn left, up a hill.

run in rural France

Or right, around an unknown bend.

run in rural France

I choose to turn left, though tomorrow I will certainly go the other way.

horses rural France

The road winds upward. I pass these beautiful white horses who seem confused by this panting two-legged creature running by.

dog rural france

And I run past this barking dog who tries his best to be threatening. I don’t think he sees many strangers.

graveyard rural France

Before I know it, I’ve reached the next cemetery.

run in rural France

It’s time for me to turn around.

run in rural France

I always like the heading back part the most.

run in rural France

So off I go again, down the hill this time, my head swiveling to the left and right in order to take in the pastoral views around me.

run in rural France

I hope that I will always find joy in the anticipation of finding out what lies beyond the next turn in the road.

chateau in rural France

Soon, the chateau comes into view, a looming presence high on the hill.

guest house chateau rural France

And just a few minutes later I am back at the coach house, the lovely blue doors beckoning me back inside.

cooking rural France

Where I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon making soup, drinking wine, and sitting around the fire with friends.

dessert rural France

And, of course, indulging in dessert (it’s another reason I run!).

Thanks for coming on my morning run with me.


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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine November 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

Such a gorgeous landscape. Silly, but my fantasy mind wonders… do the horses neigh w/an accent? 😉 Again, thank you for sharing. You are making me realize how important for my children spirit, as well as mine, that it is important to travel and experience the world.


Kim November 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Ha, they didn’t nay at all. They stayed all French and buttoned up 😉


Rhonda November 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Well damn, I don’t even like to run (thank goodness for this bum knee so I have an excuse!) but that looks like a near perfect day!
Rhonda recently posted..Savoring Santa Fe


Kim November 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

It was pretty wonderful. Can’t wait to do it one final time tomorrow.


Chris Guillebeau November 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Nice “rundown.” I felt as if I was there!


Kim November 19, 2013 at 2:36 am

Thanks Chris. I miss my runs in PDX!


Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) November 18, 2013 at 8:46 pm

We ate perhaps more apple pie than was strictly necessary during our three weeks in the mountain AND I just ate breakfast but that final photo of the galette has me drooling. Looks so good I might even agree to go for a run for it! 😉
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Five Days in Melaka


Kim November 19, 2013 at 2:37 am

Yeah, I enough Snickers Bars to keep them in business. It’s okay when you’re in the mountains!


HP November 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Magic rural France.
HP recently posted..100 COUNTRIES


Kim November 19, 2013 at 2:37 am

Magic is definitely the right word.


Jill November 18, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Hi Kim
I’m the same, everywhere is my new favourite!!
Jill recently posted..A rant and a $75 giveaway


Kim November 19, 2013 at 2:38 am

I like how you say it that way: everywhere is my new favorite. Exactly!


Carmel November 19, 2013 at 3:09 am

I think what you’ve done here is describe my perfect day. Ugh…I am so looking forward to having miles of country road to run on. And then cheese. And wine. And bread…and and and….
Carmel recently posted..SNAPSHOTS OF EL NIDO


Kim November 19, 2013 at 5:04 am

I don’t want to leave. Really. Everything I need is here: great roads to run, good food, good people, fast Internet connection, lovely home. Amazing!!!


Emily November 19, 2013 at 5:50 am

Your photos of the french countryside in the autumn are stunning!
Emily recently posted..Niagara-on-the-Lake


Kim November 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

Thanks Emily. It’s a beautiful place.


Mark Baron November 19, 2013 at 7:20 am

I’m very tired after that run…..and only have enough energy to drool thinking about the cheese’s.
Do you have any fave’s yet?


Kim November 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

Of course! My favorite is roquefort, a local cheese. SO GOOD.


Lizzie November 19, 2013 at 8:47 am

Thanks for sharing your run. So beautiful. If I could reciprocate with a bit of mine. I live by a lake in Wisconsin, and I got to watch the sun rise, making the sky look like a ripe peach, and everything so still that the only ripples in the lake’s surface were from a single bufflehead–one of those black ducky-like birds with white-feather helmet. As Emma-the-rocket-dawg and I wogged down the street, our breath puffed in the crisp 23-degree chill. A pond on the opposite side of the road from the lake was a pit stop for flotillas of geese and a battallion of sandhill crane. The primal pteradactyl call of the cranes was haunting and beautiful. (As geese and cranes took flight directly overhead, I could only pray, “Please. Not on my head.”) We passed a park with a boat ramp, empty of fishermen until the lake ices over. Little kids fidgeted on the side of the road until the school bus scooped them up.

What a glorious day! Thank you, Life, for a day to run, and a place to run, and that I can run. And thank you, Kim, for always giving me new adventures to vicariously experience, and such a sense of gratitude for the awesomeness of this globe we inhabit.
Lizzie recently posted..Susan’s reflections on a year with breast cancer


Kim November 19, 2013 at 10:39 am

Ah… I LOVE THIS. What a lovely, lovely run and a lovely day. I felt like I’d gone along on your run with you. It sounds like you live in a beautiful place Lizzie. Don’t you love running in all of the seasons? In Portland, I loved to gauge the small changes day by day. I loved that running put me so close to the seasons.


Steve C November 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

Jill, above, got it right. Each time you go to a new location, it becomes your new favorite place. There’s no down side, no law against it. We’re all in charge of ourselves, and if we want to have a good time, we will. I always try to have a positive attitude, no matter what obstacles are presented. Looks to me like Southern France could be my next favorite place too! Keep those feet moving!

Making Soup, drinking wine and gabbing with friends in front of a nice warm fire; It doesn’t get any better than that!


Kim November 19, 2013 at 10:40 am

Totally. Every new place is my new favorite place.


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