We finally snapped out of our torpor and, at the ungodly hour of 10.44am, took the train to Orléans. And a good thing we did as it was fab – clean, beautiful and flowery.
As we had limited time we headed for Tourist Info for advice on family friendly activities. A charming young man (who had clearly never met a 6 yr old) advised us to go on a tour of the cathedral followed by a worthy sounding museum devoted to the great thinker Charles Péguy.
We thanked him profusely (that's as far as my French confidently goes) and headed out, none the wiser. In the cathedral square the answer lay in front of us – LAND TRAIN! I'm not a tourist snob, I love a good tour, the cheesier the mode of transport the better!
Following a splendid tour by the cheerful Oscar we were starving. I know it's sacrilege in France, home of good cooking, but we were all craving a pizza / pasta fix. We headed to the recently refurbished beautiful old town and found Volpone on the Rue de la Cholerie. We had wondered why Orléans seemed so quiet on a Saturday but it turned out everyone was at Volpone.
We were squeezed in to the outside seating and struck up a friendly conversation with a couple on a cycling tour of the region. The service was a bit slow (or perhaps it just felt that way in the presence of a very hungry short camper…) but the food was lovely.
After lunch we embarked on an exhaustive cultural tour of Orléans….
I'm kidding. We sat in the central Place du Matroi in the sun (under the gaze of the ubiquitous Joan of Arc….) and watched kids play in those fountains that pop up randomly from the ground. SC had an ice cream and two goes on the carousel and I had a poke round the shops. We know our cultural level….
Sorry for the lack of decent pictures, I haven't done Orléans justice at all. There's loads more to do if you were staying longer (or if you got up earlier and had less devotion to pizza than us!!). The cathedral tour and Joan of Arc museum are rated very highly and a short bus ride out the city is a big park with a butterfly garden and a zoo.
There's very few trains from Orléans to Nouan-Le-Fuzelier so unfortunately we had to leave these for another day and hastened to the 16.50 without incident.