Personally, I never thought I’d ever like a theme park without rides. But that was before Puy Du Fou, a “historic” theme park in the countryside of France which lets you experience history through a bunch of shows. And no rides.
All the shows were realistic and engaging (except for maybe one which only had a lot of singing), with epic stunts. If Paris Disneyland doesn’t live up to my expectations, then I think Puy Du Fou will achieve the honor of “Alexander Belfiore’s favorite theme park in all of France”. There was even blood!
Once again, you get to read my journal entries! I like making my journal entries into blog posts. I no longer have to write both my journal and blog post, I just make them the same.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2016
DAY 179 – SAN SEBASTIAN -> PUY DU FOU
Remember what I said earlier on day 167 about hating our rental car?? My opinion is unchanged.
We first drove 3 hours to Bordeaux. The French seem to spell their words with a total lack of common sense. I mean, why in all the world, would you spell Bordeaux with an “x”?? (kidding! Click here to learn how to pronounce Bordeaux.)
When we arrived in the French city, we were all excited, because we knew that this was going to be our first out of many meals in France. I was psyched to try French food… and it was a total failure.
The waiter didn’t speak English, so we had a lot of trouble communicating with her, and somehow we ended up with 5 crêpes instead of the 3 crêpes that we wanted.
These aren’t like desserts — they’re normal lunch food like ham and cheese. We, amazingly, finished off 4 of the huge crêpes. I honestly thought that 3 would be enough. Well, I was wrong. And you know– they were pretty awesome actually!
We walked around a little more, went in an old wine shop, walked through an arch that wasn’t very cool, then played in a fountain. The fountain, instead of squirting water 50 feet up into the air, just kind of made the ground sort of like a swimming pool, except only an inch deep. Then we went back in the stinking (literally) car.
Puy Du Fou!
We arrived at Puy Du Fou at around 6:30, ate dinner consisting of chicken, and some really good strawberries, then checked out our tent and went to bed.
THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016
DAY 180 – PUY DU FOU
There are lots of theme parks in the world, but Puy Du Fou is one-of-a-kind. There are no rides at Puy Du Fou, only live shows, each of them totally different than the others.
The first one that we went to was Le Bal des Oiseaux Fantômes, or Dance of the Ghost Birds. They had lots of different birds, including bald eagles, vultures, and other large birds of prey. They had the birds fly out of a hot air balloon tethered to the ground, but still way up high in the air. It was really cool.
We next went to eat our early lunch, then to our next show Mousquetaire de Richelieu or Musketeer of Richelieu. This one was my least favorite one, because it was so hard to understand. Yes, they had English translators, and yes, there was a cool fight scene, but 80% of the whole show was singing, and the translators couldn’t translate the lyrics. Singing you can’t understand is boring.
Our next show was Les Chevaliers de la Table Ronde, or The Knights of the Round Table. It was a show about King Arthur. It was pretty cool, there weren’t any fight scenes, but the story was still good. They had the knights of the round table come up from inside the moat, which was cool.
We then went to a WWI experience. You were supposed to feel the fear of the French soldiers in trenches, being attacked by German bombs with all the gunshots and stuff.
Show number four, the one I’d been waiting for, Le Signe du Triomphe, or The Sign of Triumph. It was a Roman show simulating a coliseum event. I liked it a lot. The story was good, and the stunts were very cool too. They had a great fight scene, including blood that looked real. They also had a chariot race, which was very impressive. They also had a lion, which jumped into a locked cart with people inside, and it mutilated all the people inside. Quite impressive, I think.
The second to last show of the day, was Les Vikings, even if you don’t know French, you know what that means. It’s a Viking show!! Not only did they have totally realistic fight scenes, but this one had the coolest stunts. Somebody leapt 35 feet off a burning building, caught on fire, and ran around screaming. They also had real people lowered into the water, and they never came out. It was very cool.
Our final show was Le Secret de la Lance, or The Secret of the Lance. They did a lot of cool horse shows, like jumping off their horse, then jumping back on. It reminded me of Cavalia, a horse show that comes to Seattle on occasion. They also had large flamethrowers, which added to the action.
After our long day at Puy Du Fou, we ate dinner at a buffet, with great rice and lentils.
After our long day, it was bedtime for us.
FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016
DAY 181 – PUY DU FOU -> PARIS
I really love the crêpes they serve here. The jam is perfect, and the crêpes are just awesome. I could eat those crêpes every day.
We got to park at around 10:00, knowing that we needed to take all preventative measures as to not miss La Dernier Panache, or The Last Plume. This show was about the French Revolution.
“Ugh. Always trying to make life hard on me, huh Dad?”
More specifically, it’s the story about a guy who is a French soldier, participates in the American Revolution, then is a leader in the French Revolution. He was not considered an aristocrat, but his family was relatively rich compared to most other peasants. He was executed for treason, and because he was a military leader, he got to give the order for the soldiers to kill him. Ironic, huh?
We left Puy du Fou around 12:00, got lunch at a gas station, and drove the 3 hours to Paris.
When we arrived in Paris, we went to a huge tourist attraction, which happens to be an extraordinarily famous building. Do you know what it is?
It’s the Louvre!!!
We got to the top of the Eiffel Tower at around 7:00, and we saw the amazing view of Paris. We could spot everything. The Arc de Triumph, the Louvre, the War Museum, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
We dropped our stuff off at the apartment, and said goodbye to the rental car that we’d driven in for over 40 hours and about 2500 miles.
We got dinner at an American restaurant just across from our apartment, sat at the bar overlooking the rest of the restaurant, and had a good cheeseburger. Yum.
And now, PARIS!