The CAMARGUE….Stes. Maries de la Mer

We are  in the Camargue. It is the Rhone River delta and

 home of the ‘Original Cowboy’Camargue Cowboy

and the Camargue cross
Camargue Cross ‘les taureaux’ (the bulls) rule….they are raised for meat as well as for the bull fights.

P1080742Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! We passed field after burned field, or should it be paddy after paddy, because these were rice fields. It is October. Rice harvest has already taken place so we were seeing the ‘rice straw’, the result of burning the fields after harvest.  Smoke everywhere.CIMG4234

There are also flamingos, wild horses, and, in some seasons, more mosquitoes than one can imagine.P1080732

No, there are real ones too.

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You can’t go to the Camargue without going to…..

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer..

…the story is that the three biblical Marys (Maries) arrived here from Palestine along with Sara, who became the patron saint of the gypsies.
Since medieval times, at the end of May, Romanies, Manouches, Tziganes and Gitans have come from the four corners of Europe to venerate their Saint, the Black Sara. They camp on the streets, on the squares, on the beach.   Want to know more? Go here

From Eglise des Saintes MariesP1080731

And, finally….

Houses of the Camargue use a local resource…..all the canes that grow along the sides of the roads…..  as the roofing material for their homes. Note the leaning cross at the peak of the roof. This Christian cross is on all the houses.

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You don’t have to go far in France to see changing landscapes and traditions. That is why I love it so much .

Want to know more about this  area, France Today has a great article here.

 

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