Orléans 2005

21-23 October

Day 1
The Freak is getting started!

 

We had just arrived in Orleans and by we, I mean my dad and I. Ive tried to repress the memories of the ride from my consciousness& (Its not that easy with a choleric dad on the highway *cough*).

After wed ridden about the frontier, I grabbed my camera and sat like a watchdog in our car, just in case we came across anything Joan-like. But that was kind of difficult, cause all my bones hurt from the long ride and I felt pretty sick, so I had to sink back into my seat. Never mind.
Then we arrived in Paris, we just had to ride through Paris to reach Orléans. But for some reason we couldnt get out this huge damn traffic circle. We were completely exhausted and couldnt find a way out.
Four depressing pedestrians later, we found the gateway by accident. Haha.
I was getting nervous again because we had just reached north Orleans, and I still hadnt taken any pictures!
It was like 2 pm and I seriously hoped we would arrive early in the morning, and I could just eat some French croissants for breakfast. Boo hoo.


In the footsteps of Saint Joan!


We found our Hotel rooms quickly and 10 minutes later finally went into the city. There was so much to do and see!
The first thing we found was that little church. Too bad I did not find out the name of it. But as we entered I saw a lovely Joan of Arc statue in some corner of the church.
It was carved out of stone on a high pedestal. Wow! It looked awesome!

Through some alleys, we came near the center. I think everyone knows the Place du martroi with the huge, green Equestrian statue of Saint Joan from the 19th century. I guess its the best known monument in the whole city. I can just see her meters away!

Also weve found the cathedral Sainte-Croix. GOSH, what a beautiful building!!
I just had to take a picture& even though Im standing in the middle of a crossroad.
Not a big deal, I dont understand the French swearing anyway.

In the middle of the cathedral was some kind of little souvenir shop. It looked like a small kiosk from outside. Strange. But whatever, I think I left too much money there. Oh Lord.
The seller looked at me a bit strangely and gave me a prayer-card of Saint Therese as a gift. Anything you want to tell me, dude?

Also in this cathedral I found the Joan Corner directly. I lit another candle while my dad took a picture of me while praying (Thank you for this unnecessary photo of my sweaty back, dad&(No, I'm not going to post it!)).

We went further. There was a big, fancy house.
Just a few minutes away we found the Musée des Beaux-Arts in some kind of neoclassical house. Its filled up with French art from the 16th 18th century, the works of Francois Boucher, and one of the rare paintings of Georges de la Tour which is called the painter of the candle-light.
Just in front of the house was a big amazing Statue of Saint Joan, made by Marie of Orléans! But what shocked me was the fact that this statue had bullet holes all over! What the hell happened here?

 

 

Day 2

Dont count your chickens before they hatch.

Its eeaaarly in the morning. Actually, Ive planned to get up as early as possible to visit a French mass (Yeah, I kind of hoped for a Saint-Joan mass). But my father woke me up too late, so we didnt make it. But thats not a problem, because there was still so much to see that day!

First of all, we went down to the Loire River. I loved the atmosphere of the shore. It felt so& French. We went over a bridge; we thought there was some kind of Orleans volume 2. But there was nothing but another little church. Of course there was a statue of Joan of Arc in it. Amazing!

After we got lost there for 10 minutes, we found our way back to the center. When we finally found some civilization again, I bought a bunch of white lilies. I felt like showing some respect to Saint Joan, so while we were walking through many of churches there I left a lily here and there.
Where ever I went, from the little private churches to the giant cathedrals, I was amazed. It was like stepping into another time. Just look at those windows, oh my god!
We decide to go further, to Joan House or, as its called, La Maison de Jeanne dArc at the Place de Gaulle.
The bursar of the Duke of Orléans, Jaques Boucher, harbored Joan of Arc in his house from the 29th of April until the 9th of May, 1492. The house was destroyed during WWII, but was completely rebuilt and named after its most famous guest.
Theres even a little museum upstairs that shows the whole story of the 100 year war. A voice from a recorder tells you the story. Unfortunately, it was only in French.

I died a bit when I found another hotel that was COMPLETELY about Saint Joan. A whole Saint Joan Hotel. HOLY&!!!
I envied everyone who got in there! Dammit! Why didnt we find that hotel in the first place? I just hit my nose against the windows for a while. What a beautiful museum-like hotel! I grabbed a flyer from the Hotel and left&totally jealous and frustrated& NEXT YEAR!!!
Im still frustrated. There were many shops and buildings I found at the end of the day, so most of them were closed!
Whatever tomorrow my journey is going to take me to REIMS!