Day 14 Orleans
A fast uneventful 50 km ride brought us to Orleans at 11 am. Never sure of how hectic and difficult the across town bike ride will be in a large city, we found a small park after crossing the river to gather and steel ourselves.
Leaving the park we rolled down quiet cobblestone roads with light traffic. Turning a corner we were awestruck to see a huge gothic cathedral dominating the view with it's intricate gargoyles keeping watch to protect it from this strange band of foreigners zigzagging their way toward it. Incredible details of the parapits and sweeping arches left an impression on us that no other church yet has.
Ukrainian flags lining the street view of the Orleans cathedral
We then entered the old town shopping district. Fun and alive but with history around every bend. Joan of Arc dominated the town square as we worked our way to the hotel which let us check in at noon(!)
We rinsed off and headed out to learn about the history and sites of Orleans. An amazing lunch under the trees, a few hours exploring the cathedral with is stained glass depiction of the vision and final betrayal of Joan of Arc, the relics of protestantism including 2 shards of the cross if history can be trusted to have preserved them, and organ music resonating throughthe church filled our afternoon quickly.
We are super impressed with orleans! Beautiful and engaging with life. We went out for a late dinner so we could see the cathedral lit up at night and it did not disappoint. We fell in to bed tired but filled!
Lights change the facade to colorful depictions of the history of the cathedral at night