Friday 2nd September 2011 Weather:-30 degrees/Sunny
We have been told that the ‘Puy-du-Fou Spectacular’ is a good enough reason to visit France between May and the end of September (it has a limited season and opening nights because of all the volunteers involved) and after seeing the show tonight I can vouch for that fact.
The Puy du Fou theme park is set in 30 acres of beautiful French countryside and owned by a local community association. Instead of the usual funfair rides, what happens during the day time is a series of action-packed half-hour plays in purpose-built settings - rather than stage sets - full of special effects, music and dramatic narration. We will go to the day time session tomorrow, and I have to admit that this holiday was timed so that we could be here for the last grand spectacular of this season of the night time Cine-scene. What we have seen of Puy du Fou on Peter’s Photos and videos of his visits that he has been to in the past couple of years we have come to realize that ‘this is a not to be missed event’.
The Cine-scene is a single phenomenon of its kind, it mobilizes an entire local population (3000 people including 1200 actors) in order to create a story through French history as seen through one Vendean family. It tells initially the history of the Vendeans before the land they lived in became known as the Vendee, they were just simple peasants, the hard ground here was worked, and farmers enjoyed a simple life. The landscapes were beautiful including many windmills and even King Francois 1st stopped at the Puy-du-Fou to see the splendid countryside... Until one day when suddenly churches were closed, priests massacred, and civil guillotines put to their deadly use beheading innocents. The Revolution imposed its terror when the ‘simple peasants’ then took their pitch-forks and their iron shovels, and went to find the aristocrats who were more hesitant, to ask them to direct the large counter-revolutionary army that they had formed. An army of peasants--an army of Faith--an army of Giants, and the name stuck, these people now are named ‘The Giants’. A quarter of the Vendean population was decimated at this time. But Giants were born and their spirit lives at the Puy-du-Fou. In the re-enactment we saw the Vendeans during both world wars, defending France behind Clemenceau or de Lattre. The Vendean marked their history, and they revive it in an incredible manner every year since the park started in 1977 most of the people involved are volunteers, that is why the night shows are only on for two nights a week there is so much action happening over such a large area that the biggest problem is which way to look at any one time and how can we get some good photos that can do this spectacular justice.
Tomorrow we go back for the day show (10 am to 10pm) and after our very late night tonight- in bed just after 2am- I am glad that the rest of today was a relatively lazy.