20211225 Orléans

Even though I woke about seven, it’s been a lazy morning without doubt.  Currently I am making a recording of the bells ringing.  I wonder how long they will ring?  It’s very nearly noon.  Is there a mass at noon?  Who knows.

I ate one of the pastries I bought the other day.  It’s like a calzone with apples in brioche.  Handsome as well as delicious.

I have typed this.  And I suppose I will leave this apartment at some point.  Soon?  Probably.  In spite of the abuse to my feet I am continually restless and cannot stay in here for long.

I make another long walk.  Who needs feet anyway?

I head for a large park called La base de loisirs de l’Ile Charlemagne which looks good for pictures and recording birds.  There are threats of rain so I have added my rain layer.  About half way there (about a 42 minute walk says G) I remove my insulation layer and stuff that in my backpack.  The cloud cover, though not great for photography necessarily, has definitely warmed things up a bit.

I have some trouble finding a toilet because the facilities are partially under construction/remodel and partially because my French is like that of a two year old.  But once that is done I get about disappearing into the slight woods and trails of this vast park.

There are many families and pets strolling around the area, but as I walk West (back toward Orléans) I find quiet places and listen to the local sounds of nature and try to take some interesting pictures.

I take a picture of a dog and chat with the owner.  Here name is Charlotte Sarou and it turns out she currently has no pictures of her dog.  I offer to send the ones I’ve take and take a few more so we are sure there is a good one.

I send those as I’m reminded typing this part of the story.

I make my way through the park, heading back toward the bridge to take me across the river again and back toward home.

Since I have exhausted F&R I seek out dinner for myself.  Many places are open but mostly bars.  I stop in at a bar and meet some young Frenchmen.  One is a student in IT and another is a real estate agent.  We talk for some time and I drink a cocktail, also talking with the owner, Ben (Benoit I think).

I need some food though.  They tell me of an ok restaurant which will be open.  I head there to have the rumstek de bœuf.  I talk with a couple who have moved from Paris to Orléans.  We chat for a long time at their table but I excuse myself because I really am hungry.  We chat again as they are leaving, passing my table.  The make a restaurant recommendation which I hope to try Monday.

When I was leaving the bar the card devices were not working (one was dead battery and the other was frozen) so I return again at least to pay.  My new friends are still there so we talk again and I have a beer.  They leave but I have met a second group of people (a beautiful woman and two talkative gentlemen).

Everyone wants to know why I’ve come to Orléans since it’s not a particularly touristy destination.  I explain that I have friends here but that I have worn them out with my enthusiasm.  Also, and I mentioned this before, everyone is very friendly.  It also probably helps that I’m the exotic traveler from abroad.

Finally around midnight I pay and bid my new friends good night.  Elie (the guy I’ve been talking with until the end) says we should get another drink before I leave for Seattle and so I will try to get that in as well.  Time is not your friend.

Back here and crash.  My toe has a blister.  Traveling in the winter is much harder on my feet.  I mean, traveling to a place where it is winter.  My feet were made to be bare!  To be naked!  To be free!  Fuck, they hate me.


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