|Today we leave Burgundy and head for the Loire Valley and Orleans (http://www.tourisme-orleans.com/en/orleans-jeanne-d-arc/12-orleans-jeanne-d-arc.html). A definite change in scenery becomes apparent as we head across the Loire Valley - (http://www.westernfrancetouristboard.com/loire.html) a broad flat landscape, with the main use being livestock instead of grapes.
A couple of coffee stops are needed to break the journey and keep from falling asleep. speaking of coffee - how come the French can't seem to make a decent cup of coffee? Ever since we left Italy, a good cup of coffee has been hard to find. After having excellent coffee in Italy and Greece (with Greece being the best), it seems the French have never learnt the finer art of coffee making. Perhaps things will improve when we get to Paris.
Speaking of Paris, follow this link to see where we are staying, http://www.flipkey.com/properties/view/241925/delicious+apartment+in+montrogueil+center+of+paris/
Arrived at Orleans in the middle of the afternoon, so after settling in, we decided to take a walk into, wait for it, you guessed it, the "old part" of the town, complete3 with Xmas markets and decorations (Mum, Maddy would go beserk over here at this time of the year). As with all other walking tours we have taken, the culture of the town and the vibrancy of the life within it soon becomes apparent. Its Sunday afternoon, its freezing cold (about 4 degrees plus the wind chill factor), and there are literally thousands of people out and about - wandering the streets, drinking in small bars, shopping, or just meeting and talking, all ages, young and old. Getting out and about seems to be the European way - something we could learn from.
The town is absolutely delightful. Centuries old buildings still show signs of life in the windows, mixed in with new ones, cobbled streets, and a central square which appears to be the central hub around which everything flows (check out the picture of the carousal). Julie and I could see ourselves living here.