From Volcanoes to Villages

The third great peak of the region is home to the chateau of Polignac. 

What parts of this environment help people to live here?:

Abundant sources of water help people to live here. These sources of water include rivers and lakes. A major river of the region, and of France, is the Loire River. Another reason people want to live here is that the soil is good for farming. Farmers raise pigs, sheep, chickens, and cows. They also grow many different types of vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, leeks, and apples. The environment is also full of building material. Local volcanic rock is used to pave the roads and to construct traditional houses. Finally, people want to live here because they enjoy nature activities. In the summer, you can go hiking and mountain biking. You can also go fishing along the local river. Then, in winter, you can go skiing or snowshoeing. 

What challenges do people face living in this environment?:

A primary challenge people face living here is getting around. Roads and train lines must wind around mountains and go up and down with the changing elevation of the massif central. This adds lots of time to commutes. The narrow streets of older villages were not built for cars, and many roads are one way. Even two way roads might not be wide enough for two cars to pass! I still get a little scared when I'm in a car here. The steep sides of the mountain can be tiring to walk every day. My exercise consists of going grocery shopping and walking up the slope to my apartment. In the winter, it gets pretty chilly in this environment! People have to be careful walking around the steep, icy roads of the city center.