What would the Romans think?

Last year, Zoe-Pascale and Jean were watching a program on TV during one of our vacations and laughing and laughing and laughing. Men lying in rolling beds were pitched against a might black camargue Taureaux (bull), people dressed as sheep were running through an obstacle course and jumping over the Taureaux's head to get to the other side. Remembering this I saw an advertisement for the Interville between Nimes and Avignon in which these extravaganzas were being played in the old Roman Arena, over 2,000 years old in Nimes. 

Arriving a bit late we found seats among the thousands of fans dressed in Red (the Nimes color). Zoe having thought that the bulls wouldn't like red, said we had to wear anything but red. Standing out a bit, we grabbed some red balloons and waved them cheering Nimes on with the crowds.

Set in this grand coliseum were a variety of games and stunts where men and women stood battle as only the French could do against the Taureaux. The Taureaux's are symbolic of this entire region and the summer is full of fete votives where the boys in the village chase and run with the bulls. This event staged by France TV is a three ring circus that is as lively as the SuperBowl.

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july 26-aug 10 2006 summer pictures 085.jpgMen and women dressed in horse costumes are pulling the chariots around the bull pen, avoiding the bull and running back to first place.



interville grapes.jpgMeanwhile in the corner of the coliseum a group of people fighting the clock and each other to see who could make the most wine.

The man with the blue tin on his back is climbing to the top with grapes to give to the handlers who send it down the (red or blue) pipe to the crusher. The woman crushing with her bare feet was there at least two hours before we saw her replacement. These poor people were running up and down and crushing throughout the night!

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Sitting in this two thousand year old Roman Coliseum with the crowds roarding was amazing.

Suzanne Saxe-Roux