Le Festival de Loire and Exploring the Town

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These last few days have been kind of lazy, but overall good.  On Thursday I spent most of the day relaxing and then did a bit of exploring. Yesterday I went into town with the professor I will be working with to take care of some of the administrative things that I needed to do and then explored a bit more.

Orléans is a beautiful city cut in half by the Lorie River.  I live on the south side of the Loire.  The North side is where most of the activity is; there are many stores, a movie theater, a grand medieval cathedral, as well as restaurants and bars.  A market is held in the city center each Friday with food, some prepared and some not, as well as books, cds, records and movies.  The buildings in town are incredible!  Many of them date back to medieval times.  There is also a statue of Joan of Arc in the town square, as she was from Orléans.

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Some pictures of the Loire taken from le Pont Georges V

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This week the Festival de Loire is happening on the docks along the river.  The festival only happens every other year, so being here to see it is quite cool.  There are old boats floating up and down the river.  Food stands of all kinds line the dock and the streets: beer tents, seafood, crepes, waffles, and fries galore!  There are demonstrations about fishing and and historical information about boats in the Loire area.  I even saw some stands with activities for children.  Many different bands have been playing, and as one walks up and down the docks, the type of music changes quickly.  Some of the music is traditional and some a bit more contemporary.

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Boats on the Loire and some of the stands that are part of the festival

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The town has been quite busy because of the festival. My host parents told me that people from all over come to see the festival each time it occurs. Tonight there will be fireworks at the festival, and I’m really excited to see them! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my first weekend in Orléans than seeing the town so full of life!
ime it occurs. Tonight there will be fireworks at the festival, and I’m really excited to see them! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my first weekend in Orléans than seeing the town so full of life!

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