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  • Day26

    Enjoying our Day of Rest in Orleans

    September 15, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Even in a large cosmopolitan city like Orleans, Sundays are quite different from every other day of the week. We have become so accustomed to shops being open 7 days a week, that there is something refreshing about a country that still has enough self belief to put family life ahead of non stop commerce.

    Our rest day in Orleans happened to coincide with the traditional "day of rest" in France. As we walked the streets near our hotel, we found them almost deserted. Most of the shops were shut and shuttered. It even looked like the huge articulated trams that had been passing back and forth every few minutes on the previous day, had also stopped running. In fact we did not see a single tram all day.

    Fortunately the coin laundry was open and we made good use of its facilities to catch up on all our laundry backlog. This is always a very important survival skill when you are undertaking an extended bike ride. We returned to our hotel with our laundry bags full fo freshly laundered clothes and a feeling of relief that we would be able to cope for the next few days at least.

    We did not have any ambitious plans for the remainder of our time in this city. While some choose to frantically rush hither and fro, looking at every major historical site, we are not that type of tourist. I even avoid those well known "hop on, hop off" bus services, as I really hate being crammed together with a crowd of people, all wearing those dreadful headphones. I would much rather spend my time wandering the place to get my own feeling for the city.

    The most obvious thing we found was that the entire city was in the process of getting ready for a Festival of the Loire, due to start in three day's time. Along the river a long line of marquis were being erected. Banners were hung along all the main streets and the spectacular floral displays looked to be in full bloom. It was a bit of a shame that we would not be here for the festivities, but we have a schedule to keep downriver.

    Although I had been here twice previously, on those occasions we did not have any spare time at all. Today we were able to walk the central part of the town and make our own discoveries. Unfortunately the hot sun also meant that it soon became uncomfortably hot for exploring and so we returned to the relative comfort of our hotel room. It was there we discovered that somehow a mistake had been made in the room reservations. Although we all staying here for two nights, a change in the hotel management had somehow changed the booking to one night only. This could have been a disaster, but fortunately they had enough spare capacity to make sure that no one had to spend the second night in the bike garage.

    Tomorrow we resume our cycling along the Loire as we ride to the nearby city of Beaugency.
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