As the camp reached its midway point, the organizers gave us teachers a day-off. Of course, we were very excited about this. The work was very daunting especially the idea of teaching students during summer. At first, I thought that we would spend the day doing activities, playing sports, or even explore the nearby towns to soak in the culture and the alcohol. The French organizers had a different idea for us.
It is called Puy du Fou. I scratched my head in confusion. Is this a French game? Is this a city I’ve never heard of?
It is a theme park in France. My French colleagues told me that it is a series of shows about the History of France. This statement gave me more questions than answers. How will it work? Are there rides? Will I just be watching all day?
It did not disappoint.
Well, it’s not Disneyland Paris, I can tell you that. In this theme park, strategy and punctuality are keys! The theme park alerted its patrons that it’s quite impossible to view all the showings in one day. We were fortunate enough to be with French colleagues who have been here before. In fact, we are lucky because it is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Quelle chance!
I won’t bother making my own critique of the shows I watched. In case you’re wondering what I watched, here they are:
- Les Vikings
- Le Bal de Oiseaux Fantomes
- Le Secret de la Lance
- L’Odysee du Puy du Fou
- Le Signe du Triomphe
Aesthetically, it was great! The choreography and presentations were world-class. Also, I learned that some of the actors performed for free! I encourage you to read through the different shows. I also highly encourage you to watch Le Signe du Triomphe before you leave!
I have three take-away points from my experience here:
- BE EARLY — We originally wanted to watch the 1pm performance of Le Signe du Triomphe. We were refused entry — even if we were 30 minutes early.
- IT’S OKAY NOT TO HAVE TRANSLATORS — If you’re one of those tourists who want to delve deep into the story, then, by all means, I won’t stop you. There’s something authentic and appealing in watching the shows in French. For example, in Le Bal de Oiseaux Fantomes, I didn’t understand the story, but I enjoyed the ensemble.
- DON’T FEEL THE PRESSURE — The chance that you are going here with a group are high. With so many shows and so little time, there will be conflicts in what to watch. If you want to watch birds doing crazy choreography, then don’t feel restrained in watching Le Bal de Oiseaux Fantomes while the others want to watch Musketeers going at it.
On y va!