1. I did like Aigues-Mortes–we were there on a rainy day in 2003 and it must have been in the middle of the week because I don't remember many tourists.
    We ate at a marvelous restaurant, La Salicorne stayed too long and were driving home in dark among the trucks hell bent for Lyon! We had to go all of the way to Orange for the crossover to "our" side of the river.

  2. The courses camarguaises reminds me a lot of the Tucson Rodeo in February! While rodeo isn't all that popular in some circles, it is a tradition and a way of life. Vive la différence! While I have said I would never attend a bull fight, I might just head over to the Camargue sometime for Easter week!

  3. An interesting andwell written story about bull fighting. Each story seems to bring back memories that were long forgotten.
    The bull fights in LaFeria are pretty tame compared to the ones that we went to in Mexico. We used to load up the family(yes, children were allowed)and on the way to the bull ring, my brother-in-law, who was an expert on Mexican culture, would prep us with a lesson on the history of bull fighting. "These bulls were raised to be used in the ring, he used to say,Their sole purpose in life was to fight and die in the ring. After the Matador kills the bull, the carcass is immediately taken to a charitable organization that feeds the poor. That was their noble reward".
    Upon our arrival at the arena. we would purchase our seat cushions. They were hand made of scraps of colored leather, a real work of art. Compared to cushions these days, our cushions were small. The size seemed more proportioned to the slim hips and posteriors of the toreadors. Todays fans would need at least two!!
    We tried to sit up high and above the fray because if the fans didn't like the toreador or the end results of the match, they would throw their cushions toward the ring,not caring who they hit. We always left feeling lucky to have survived.
    It made me think of those anciant Biblical perple who were entertained by the matches that were held in the Roman Coliseum, and were we to compare them,some might say "Cruel and uncivilized". Who's to say ? That decision is still, ultimately, in the eye of the beholder.

  4. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for defending Aigues-Mortes. I would enjoy revisiting Aigues-Mortes in the off-season as those fabulous ramparts must be fun to explore. I suppose that one could describe Carcassone similarly–that magnificent 13th century walled city (with origins predate the Romans by several thousand years!) is often filled to the brim with tourists (like ourselves), too, but it wasn't when we were there and I would jump at the chance to return.

    Thanks for the restaurant recommendation, too!


  5. It would be a fun road trip. Mary, who lives in New England but whom I met in Lourmarin, has provided a restaurant recommendation! We could start in Paris and hear the new bells in Notre Dame when they debut on Palm Sunday 2013 and then head south! Let's go!


  6. I agree that we should tread lightly into another culture's traditions. There are certainly some practices that the vast majority of the world–the eyes of most beholders– find so morally repugnant that we are compelled to voice our opposition, but most customs that have withstood the test of time have carved out a place in that culture even if they are controversial. Of course, cultures change over time and what was once largely acceptable may now be abhorrent…but, as you suggest, who are we to judge those of the past?

    I attended quite a few bullfights as a child with the same kind of mindset you are describing. I'm not sure that I saw them much differently than a professional football game (a sentiment the reader can interpret in several ways!).

    Thanks for your candid and very interesting thoughts.


  7. Susan,

    I don't attend bullfights. Nor do I attend professional hockey games. Is there a difference? No, I think not.

    But…I would relish the opportunity to attend the bull games you are describing!

  8. Your story brought back memories of when we were a little younger and went to the bull fights in Mexico City.I think I still have one of leather pillows we would thro to the Matador if he gave a good performance.I still have it so I guess it was a poor showing!I,d better go check-be right back!
    P.S. I'msure Mr. Manfull has the bulls!
    Brother John

  9. There is a bill before the assembly in Mexico City that would ban the very bullfights we used to see in Mexico City. Apparently, it is likely that they will approve it, making bullfights illegal. The main reason there is such debate, I gather, is not because it is considered a cultural tradition but because it would negatively impact employment of so many people. In the country, there are around 225 bullrings and around 22 bullfighting schools. All that said and at the risk of appearing to be like the Adams Family, we certainly had fun.


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