During the summer months a lot of towns in France spring into life with festivals, night markets, and various events laid on to amuse both locals and visitors alike.
One popular idea both near us and in several other places in France is ‘medieval re-enactments’ where everyone in the town dresses up in ‘olden-days’ costumes, paint gruesome wounds on themselves, and march around waving wooden swords and making small children cry.
Centres like Puy-de-Fou in the Vendee and Castillon la Bataille take the idea to extremes with their multi-cast historical re-enactments (note: people keep telling me that Puy-de-Fou is a great experience, not to be missed if you are in the Vendee area, while reports about Castillon la Bataille seem a bit more mixed).
Anyway, with all this excitement elsewhere I was pleased to see that our own local town is having a festival this week. The program tells me that a couple of the highlights include:
1) An introduction to quantum physics (in two parts)
2) A series of discussions about the philosopher Bergson (aperitif included you’ll be pleased to hear)
3) A special showing of a film of Prometheus Unbound (a Greek story by Aeschylus)
I might be wrong, and perhaps there are large numbers of holidaymakers wanting to spend their evenings having intellectual discussions – but I would guess most of the people who stay in our gites have got slightly less serious plans, typically based around barbecues and alcohol.
But if you are looking to improve yourself during your stay in France head on down here – tickets are a very reasonable 8 euros each, or 40 euros if you want to attend lots of different events. I’m guessing they won’t quite have sold out yet.
And a quick look at the page about Bergson on wiki tells me that ‘Bergson convinced many that immediate experience is more significant than rationalism and science for understanding reality‘. Which I take to mean that having a great holiday is more important than talking about philosophy…