When Callie was less than a year old, I would often take her over for a walk on the island on the Cher just opposite St.-Aignan. There's a park on the eastern end of the island, where this photo was taken, and a spillway at the very tip where the river splits around the island. The spillway creates a small reservoir of water just above the bridge where there is a lock for boats and, more importantly, there used to be a mill.
The little reservoir provided the water to power the mill's turbines. The mill is long gone, but the spillway and reservoir remain, creating a body of slow-moving water at St.-Aignan's front door. There's a boat dock on the St.-Aignan side from which a tour boat departs in summer months, and a local kayak rental company often puts their boats in on the island side. I've even seen the local fire and rescue squad practice water rescues here.
Downstream from the bridge, still on the island, are the municipal swimming pools and the town's garden allotments. These are plots available to residents of Saint-Aignan who don't have land for a garden. A couple of friends of ours who live in town have one of the allotments and make the time to tend their garden there.
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