En Camargue

280px-Vue_aériene_des_Saintes_Maries_de_la_Merflamingohorses

Sainte Maries de la Mer, capital of the Camargue: an island known for its natural sandy marshes: home to flamingos, bulls, an white horses (ridden by “gardiens” in provencale colored shirts), pilgrimages, and flamenco music and dancing.

camargue_mer_3

A good friend and I recently spent a girls’ weekend getaway there, enjoying nature walks and the town, as well as surviving one very windy day where the fine, silky sand blew sideways in the air, as we attempted a bike ride – it was so windy that we had to walk the bikes a few times, impossible to pedal against the wind!

 

The weekend provided tranquility: yoga on the beach, nature walks, walking on the beach, quiet reflection, as well as good food and browsing in the town shops.  Live “Gypsy Kings” type music was being performed in many restaurants, along with public flamenco performances.Flamenco dancer 2

We stayed at a B&B not far from the town center, the only downside being that wifi service was available only at an exterior picnic table, which we jokingly referred to as the Internet Cafe (not very convenient on rainy and windy days!)

B&B
Bedroom corner

Bedroom
ExteriorBathroom

The town’s “raison d’etre” is le taureau, with reminders everywhere – there was even a demonstation in the street of les gardiens rounding up some bulls into a caravan at the end of the street – historically, the Camargue is whole lotta bull!

Poster

traffic circle island

traffic circle island

Statue

taureau, taureau, &more amp; taureau...

taureau, taureau, &more amp; taureau…

 

Restaurant recommendation post to follow – stay tuned!

Tourism Office website (in English) HERE

 

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