Arles festivities

Dec 4th, 2019, 02:27 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2015
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Arles festivities

Hello All,
I am considering a trip to Arles during their September "Rice Festival". If anyone has been there during that time I need your help. Knowing that festivals everywhere can get a little crazy , will it be a hard to get into the various other sights and restaurants in town so that we can enjoy all Arles has to offer, and still relax a bit? I do not expect a normal experience, I just hope to eat and sightsee within reasonable wait times
Thank you, Humphry
humphry is offline  
Dec 5th, 2019, 06:09 AM
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You do realize, I hope, that the festival is the second-biggest bullfighting event in Arles. The local rice (and it's not much to write home about) is quite secondary. You will have to buy a ticket (expensive) to the bullfighting event to get into the arena, where most events, and of course the bullfights, are taking place. The city will be very crowded, but quite fascinating, with lots of market activities, food stalls, animations, etc. It's not somewhere I would choose to go and relax, though.

If you do go, be sure to eat a local bull dish. Quite delicious. Try La Tambourine.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 5th, 2019, 08:23 AM
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Thank you for the recommendation.One of us doesn't mind crowds and enjoys bullfights and the other doesn't.Compromises on certain trips are necessary ,so it is good to have some advanced knowledge.With this in mind, we will probably go during this festival time, even if it means me giving up a different weekend shopping for clothes, purses, and useless trinkets to bring back home...Humpphry
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Dec 5th, 2019, 11:30 AM
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I was there with my mother and a friend in 2009. We did not stay in Arles, but we visited for the day during the Rice Festival. I think the only difficulty we had was parking!

Yes, it was busy and festive, and the bars were lots of fun and seeing the people all dressed up in costumes was a blast. We did not, nor did we have any interest in seeing the bullfight.

It was not claustrophobic or that hard to walk around. Or get a meal. Most cafes and restaurants close to the arena were making delicious paellas outdoors, and the smell was lovely! We did go for the paella. I had my first paella, not in Spain, but in the South of France (Ste. Maxime's I think) many years ago, and I prefer the French style to the Spanish style, the Spanish style (at least what I've experienced) being a little dryer than the French version.
Surfergirl is offline  
Dec 5th, 2019, 12:54 PM
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yes, I was there during that one year!!! lots of fun. I have never and will never see a bullfight, either. I might be wrong, but I thought they had that kind of "bullfight" that is just a display during that particular event, not the kind where they really kill the bull. I didn't go to it anyway.

I was just there for a day trip, I think I was staying in Montpellier. But it was a fun day to be there, I did see the running of the bulls, then walked around some, lots of outdoor festivities in various courtyard areas. I just had lunch there that day, I don't remember anything difficult about it. I did not eat bull, either.
Christina is offline  
Dec 5th, 2019, 01:19 PM
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We saw a bullfight in Arles at a different time and really enjoyed it. The bull does not get killed and the object is for the "matadors" (this is likely the wrong word) to slip rings off of the bulls horns. There is actually a group of "matadors" and they work together. The "matadors" display a lot of acrobatic skill and daring, music plays and a there is a small parade. The tickets were not expensive and mostly locals attended but this was not during a festival time.
KTtravel is offline  
Dec 5th, 2019, 01:54 PM
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I think for the Rice Festival they are raseteurs. They wear little bands around their hands with razor blades; hence the name. They try to get close enough to the bull's head to poke it with the razors. Not a terribly appealing game, but the raseteurs are amazingly athletic and at least the bull isn't killed.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 7th, 2019, 08:59 PM
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Hi Humphry,
We attended Le Fest du Riz back during our first-trip-to-France-together, which was 1994. The festival actually came as a surprise--we hadn't been aware of its existence. Happy accident.
It was a lot of fun. We met a local family and hung out with them in a casual eatery. They agreed to a series of interviews, so I tape-recorded mom, dad, son and both daughters. Son was about 15 and apparently was some sort of apprentice bullfighter. The young daughters were impossibly cute and we still have those recordings.
The parade was a very good photo op. We loved the folks who got into costume. Got a great shot of one young woman dressed in trad clothing, toting a basketful of food and wine.
We were not aware of any undue wait times throughout the fest.

Hope that you enjoy it.
I am done. The end.
zebec is offline  
Dec 8th, 2019, 04:14 PM
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Thank you all for the exact type of answers i was looking for. They all have helped me form a good idea of how I now want to plan my trip...-Humphry
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