Ed & Steve's excellent Adventure 2013 travel blog

Vast flat land on the way to Orleans

Train going past!

Gypsy boats on the river

Ed' phone app showing the speed

Great architecture

Typical street


The enormous doorway

Band playing

Now that's a salad!?

Another very early morning saw us walking to the station in the dawn on another fine but hazy day in Annecy. Our train to Paris was a TGV (translation - very fast train). We clocked it on an app on Ed's phone doing 306km/hr! It was smooth as a plane the only jolt being the whoosh of air as another train passed us also doing 300km/hr!

The green countryside we have been used to gave way to acres of crops & miles of flat farmland. I held the camera against the window to get a shot of a train coming past - a couple of times I was not quick enough as they passed in about 2 seconds even though they were about 6 cars long plus engine!

We had to change trains in Paris & walk from Gare de Lyon about 10 minutes to Gare d'Austerlitz where we boarded our regional train to Orleans in the Loire Valley.

This is another picturesque city on the River Loire with an old part & a new, modern part. We had a couple of hours in the afternoon so we headed out to walk to the old city centre. They have a beautiful cathedral as all of the major cities do. It is more gothic style & not so ornate but huge! Outside are memorials to Joan of Arc- the "Maid of Orleans" - who fought to lift a seige at Orleans in the 1400's.

Inside the enormous doors of the cathedral we discovered a brass band rehearsing for a memorial for wounded soldiers. The music filled the cathedral with its ceilings hundreds of feet high & stone structure. Fantastic serendipitous moment!

We spent another hour or so wandering through the medieval streets with architecture quite different to Germany & Austria. Around 7pm everyone seems to come out for drinks & then dinner to follow late. We found a place that was serving dinner early & ordered salads & pizza. The salads for Marg & I were enormous & I didn't seem to make a dent in it!

Tomorrow we hope to travel half an hour away to try & see a couple of chateaus.

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