Orléans is a beautiful city, with a compact but well maintained historical center.
One needs spend little time in Orléans to see the cultural significance of Joan of Arc. Known as Jeanne d’Arc in France, she is a national hero and was canonized as a Catholic saint in 1920. Not wanting to sound like a history dissertation, these are some of the highlights of her life. At the age of 13, in 1425, Joan began to hear voices, which commanded her to go and help the uncrowned French King Charles VII battle the English in the Hundred Years’ War. The city of Orléans had been under siege by the English and Joan of Arc was instrumental in lifting the siege after nine days. In 1430, she was captured by English allies and handed over to the English. She was tried, found guilty, and burned at the stake in 1431, at the age of 19. She is celebrated every year in May in Orléans. These photos represent just some of the commemorations of her here. She is a fascinating women of French history.
After spending a full day touring the sights, we decided to take our bikes for a “test drive.” We headed west along the Loire River to an area we won’t otherwise cover on our ride. The weather was beautiful and it was great to get a small taste of the experiences awaiting us over the next month.
I offer some other pictorial highlights, you might enjoy.
Mental Floss – I think I need to run a brief training session for my backup photographer.
Um! Sensible Shoes! Doesn’t seem like a great way to get customers into the store.