Thursday, 12 August 2010
Days Out in France: Puy du Fou
Puy de Fou , a theme park in the Vendee where battles from various points in history are re-enacted in the context of decidedly cheesy stories involving brave warriors and buxom maids with enough guns, swords and loud noise to keep a small boy entertained all day.
The French seem to have a much more archaic approach to the welfare of 'les animaux sauvages'. There are still circuses that have performing lions which I've managed to dissuade Louis from pestering me to see. A brief discussion about whether it was right to keep a big cat in a cage and transport it around put pay to that one. So I was disappointed to see lions and tigers in the gladiatorial ring and a also a decidedly unhappy leopard pacing in its cage in one of the parades.
For me and Mr Lovelygrey our favourite part of the day was 'Le Bal des Oiseaux Fantomes', a spectacular display of birds of prey. I didn't realise that I'd have any interest in falconry until I saw this fantastic 30 minute long show with a finale where 30-40 birds of different species are flown at the same time Louis even got his wish of having a 'birdie' perched upon his head. Others could see this as yet another example of animals being exploited but I was impressed with the skill and the animal husbandry employed by the handlers.
Other reviewers suggest that all the attractions in this park can't be visited in a day but we disagree. We took in all five of the main spectacles and even managed to see the bird show twice. All for the princely sum of just under £100 for the three of us. An overnight stay in the aire for motorhomes was five euros.
And our costs included topping the day off with the night-time show with a cast of hundreds, special effects and fireworks to finish. But by then Louis was thoroughly cheesed out and fell asleep on my lap midway through the performance!