Le Puy du Fou

So it’s officially the weekend and the first of the five excursions was last night. We got out of class at 3:45 which was nice because the day before we went til 5pm. That was a little brutal. We had to meet back at the circle in front of the school at 7:30 and left at 8pm. The bus wasn’t even full to capacity, that surprised me a little. I figured more kids would’ve gone. But whatever, their loss. It was really hot. I was wearing jeans and a long-sleeve shirt and had a jacket with me because everyone kept saying how cold it would be. It did get a little chilly but I thought it felt pretty good. My roommate, Sarah, went to Le Puy du Fou in July and said she froze. By bus it’s about an hour south of Angers I believe. We saw possibly THE most gorgeous sunset on the way there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one so clear. It was amazing. And then later in the stadium, waiting for the show to start, the sky was so clear and the stars were absolutely beautiful.

Alright, so I suppose I should give you guys a brief explanation of what exactly Le Puy du Fou is right? I think it’s actually a historical theme park but we just went for the night show, called Cinescenie. It was amazing. It may have been sold out last night, there were definitely a TON of people. You’re seated in this big stadium with fold-down chairs facing a small lake with the remnants of a castle on the far side of the water. The show tells the history of the Vendee (a small region in the west of France) and is narrated by a boy. With over a thousand actors and top-notch technology, Cinescenie guides you through two centuries of war and peace. You get to watch as the townespeople both celebrate the good times and mourn those who do not return from the battlefields. It truly is a unique show.

The show begins with an almost Celtic song that slowly gains volume as a lone figure, dressed in black and only visible because of the torch it carries, makes its way from one end of the complex to the other. Once at the opposite end, he stops, faces the crowd, and the narration begins. As this deep voice is booming out across the stadium, the path he’d just walked lights up and there’s at least 200 hundred peasants and townespeople frozen in place in various positions, as if they had just been going about their daily lives and been turned into statues. And no one moved. That was incredible. The show progressed from there.

I highly recommend trying to see it, if you ever are in the area during their season. Knowing French is useful, but it’s not necessarily essential in order to enjoy the show. I understood parts of the narration but honestly, I didn’t really focus much on it because I was too busy watching the people and the lighting change. Even without listening or understanding the narration, you can figure out what’s going on in the story. The wars are pretty distunguishable and the few subplots are easy to follow. I will say though to anyone who isn’t a fan of big noises or has problems with strobe lighting, to just be aware of that if you go and see it because there are a few gun and canon shots in the war scenes and a small bit of strobe lighting for dramatic effect in another part of the show. But overall, it’s a good show for everyone. We saw a lot of buses of older people who were there as a big group to see the show. They were so cute because you’d see husband wife holding hands as they walked through the crowd. It was really sweet. And young kids were there as well.

Some of the animals in the show were really funny. In the show are horses, oxen, goats, pigs, donkey, a couple doves, and a flock of ducks. The pigs only made one appearance I think but it was so funny because they had such big, floppy ears that would just flop all over as they ran around. The ducks were pretty well-behaved surprisingly. They stopped when they were supposed and for the most part stayed as a flock and didn’t run amuck. And then there’s one scene where a horse and his rider are shot and the horse lies down and plays dead but it obviously didn’t like just lying there because after a minute or so you could see it twitch it’s ear. And then it would raise its head and look around and do that for a bit before finally just quitting and getting up.

Part of the finale

Alright, enough spoilers. It was a good show and I had a great time. Well, aside from my embarrassing entrance. Since I went to the show with CIDEF, our tickets were all in the same two or three rows. Two of the girls and I figured that since our group had a block of seats altogether, it wouldn’t really matter as much if we didn’t sit in the assigned seat on our ticket. We were in the right row but our seats were on the other end and almost the whole row was full so we would’ve had to go through about 20 people to reach our real seats. So we sat in three open seats on the end where we were but ended up having to move a few minutes later. Because the row behind us wasn’t that full yet, they climbed over the seats to walk down the row and then climb back over the seats once we found ours. Guess who trips while trying to climb over the seat and not only almost faceplants beautifully before losing their balance and falling back on the ground but also loses most of their newly opened Coke in the process? Yep. This girl. Ah…so embarrassing. I didn’t hurt myself so that’s good, it was just really embarrassing and everyone in the vicinity was staring. So…lesson learned. Short people should not try to climb over seats with an open drink. I’ll try to remember that next time I want to jump rows because it’s easier.

Tomorrow is the second excursion. We travel to Mont Saint Michel and Saint Malo in Brittany (a region of France just north of Angers). It should be fun and I’m looking forward to it. I’m just not excited about the fact that we have to be in front of the university at 6:45AM.

❤ Rachel