In late December, my mom and I snagged cheap tickets to Orleans, a 45-minute train ride away from Paris. We knew nothing about the city except that Joan of Arc was famous for doing something here. But we figured, why not?
When we arrived, it was frigid and rainy. We quickly made our way from the train station to the old town. Our first order was to visit the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orléans, where we hoped against hope it would be slightly warmer than outside. It was actually colder inside than out, but the cathedral’s gothic beauty made up for it.
Like nearly every tourist attraction in Orleans, the cathedral too has a connection with Joan of Arc: she took mass here in 1429, while in the city to save its citizens from a siege. Many of the cathedral’s beautiful stained-glass windows depict her story.
From there, we sought refuge in a warm, cozy restaurant called Les Pieds Dans le Plat, where we feasted on a three-course lunch. The waiter was super friendly and the food both abundant and delicious.
And then we once again braved the rain, walking through the winding streets of old Orleans. I’ve gotta say, it’s a beautiful town, even in the rain. As you can see, the streets were nearly deserted — we were the only people foolish enough to be sightseeing in this weather.
And then, right as we were about to leave, the sun came out
Would I wait for warmer weather? Absolutely. Maybe even in May for the town’s annual Joan of Arc festival.