Lorraine 2017






An anniversary: 30 May 1431, the English burn Jeanne d’Arc in Rouen

Horror grips us
As we watch you die
All we can do is
Echo your anguished cries

Go take your sister then by her hand
Lead her away from this foreign land
Far away where we might laugh again
We are leaving you don’t need us

2017: Following Jeanne d’Arc with 1885 maps


This map is a lucky find of mine, from the 1885 book En suivant Jeanne d’Arc sur les chemins de France. It was shipped to me from Lorient Bretagne of all places (a separate story!)04_zpsbxyrdwts


The maps, with some deviations, follow the same routes as  described by Frances Caddy who travelled them personally on foot and by bicycle the next year, 1886. Her very-well documented account was published in London under the title Footsteps of Jeanne d’Arc: A Pilgrimage.


The print quality is very good.


It is fairly easy to transfer the routes into Google maps and Garmin. The job, however,  is daunting when it comes to actually following them on a bicycle.

Garmin navigation


A Garmin device is too small for my eyes. It has a great battery life and is waterproof, though.

For an orientation in space and time, I’d rather use a phone.


An interesting fact is that there are fewer roads now than 20 years ago. Oftentime, your Garmin urges you to take a shortcut but there is no actual road any more. I try to be good and report every map error.

The Loire Valley

37w2s8mhq0mLe matin a Noyon.


hw88idy_lheSully sur Loire



Loches. The tomb of Agnes Sorel, the official mistress of Charles VII. The king for whom Jeanne gave her life in Rouen.

In 2005 they excavated the tomb and examined the DNA. The facial part of the skull is well-preserved. There is an exhibition of the finds, next to the effigy.


The Chinon valley along the Vienne river is all covered with famous vineyards.


Some roads are not good for the small bike wheels!  This one could be from the Roman times.


My green tent and the Brompton. Camping in Chinon


The Chinon castle. People picnicking on the beach. In France, you can drink wine anywhere you like.


A morning in Bléré.  Stopping for a coffee and a croissant.

epycjlonnuoMy lunch in Blois


The bridge that the French army crossed as the first move against the English to liberate Orleans. The army and supplies had been assembled at Blois. Jeanne’s title was “Chef de guerre” – the chief of war. She took command of the troops at the age of 16.


La réserve de Chambord



Jeanne d’Arc



mwexiga1hesL’ile de Bouchard


The most amazing church in France – l’ile de Bouchard. Jeanne d’Arc attended mass here before arriving at Chinon the next day. You HAVE to see it to believe it.

veuadm4t_-uL’ile de Bouchard, the interior


c4_fqhef3sqVers the Loire valley

utmhpmszlloJeanne d’Arc spent the winter of 1429/1430 in this castle.

06eeifsy_kmLa port de France a Vaucouleurs (Meuse). Jeanne left through this gate in the winter of 1429, to Chinon.


Meuse and Lorraine, you see her everywhere

hso435tv94iBiking to Vauculeurs was hard because of the bad weather!

i1wwvtxd6g0Hey, I made it to Domremy!

z3yrgfu4a1oLa maison natale de Jeanne d’Arc, Domremy

pwgiyxltm3wThis is the room where she grew up.

qrhqpdp7_x8Bois Chênu, the famous forest where she used to go to.

hgdk9vzwnnoThis is actually quite scary. An angel giving you the order to kill… and get killed


It’s more than enough for one day