We made our first visit to Orléans today because we wanted to break the journey from Cherbourg to Switzerland and we fervently wanted to avoid driving anywhere near Paris.
I'd expected a pitstop at a hotel and maybe a look at an interesting building or two tomorrow. After six hours on the road in 28C heat, in a car where the aircon had expired, all I wanted to do was to eat and sleep.
Fortunately, the meal refreshed us so we took a late evening walk through the town and discovered two things: Orléans is big, beautiful and bustling and tomorrow in the Fête Nationale De Jeanne D'Arc, a national holiday that celebrates the Maid of Orléans and French patriotism in general.
Orléans has its party frock on and people are already feeling festive, Here are some pictures from this evening that I hope give a flavour of the town.
The back streets of Orléans The main shopping street in Orléans
Sunday night in the streets of Orléans Orléans Cathedral[
Statue of Jeanne D'Arc in the main square