Thursday, 12 August 2010

Days Out in France: Puy du Fou

Being a little tight with the wonga the Lovelygrey family tends to spurn attractions that have to be paid for unless they're really worth it. Our holiday entertainment revolves around what we can do for free so involves lots of walking,cycling, watching street entertainment, playing on get the gist. However, I do like an aquarium and whilst we were in Vannes Louis and I coughed up 17 euros and visited the one there. It is a corker albeit that the visit only lasted about an hour. Lots of thoughtfully produced displays of tropical fish, seahorses and jellyfish. Even I, with only the camera on my mobile phone, could capture a few decent images. The only unsettling visit was the crocodile caught in the Parisian cellars and condemned to a life being annoyed by small children on the other side of its glassy enclosure.

For Louis, the highlight of his holiday, was undoubtedly a visit to 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!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow! I see what you mean - it looks absolutley awesome.

    I am with you about having animals in cages. It's awful. The worst I think are when I see birds in cages.

    The falconry sounds fantastic ;-)