A la Foire du Trone

Paris Travel Blog

 › entry 10 of 12 › view all entries
The entrance.

In Paris every year, on the Pelouse de Reuilly, there is a carnival that lasts for two entire months.  It is the Foire du Trone, so named because it used to be held at Nation, which used to be known as the Place du Trone.  2008 was the 1051st annual Foire du Trone.  I ask you; have you ever heard of anything lasting that long?!

I've always liked carnivals, and was looking forward to seeing what a French one would be like...and I was not disappointed to find that it was similar to American carnivals...but the things that were different were what made it 10x better. 

For example.  The average length of a carnival ride at an American carnival, whether it be a thrill ride or bumper cars, is about 2.5 minutes.  The average length of a carnival ride in France is about 11 minutes.

L'Extreme!
  This is good if you enjoy the ride you're on, but it's bad if you're terrified out of your mind.  I was on a ride ("L'Extreme") with a friend of mine during which we were twirled around high in the air with our feet dangling and our seats turning unexpectedly with the pitch of the ride.  This lasted a full ten minutes.

Then there was the Tagada.  (Tagada is the name of a candy.  After my description of this ride, you can decide whether is is in any way related to the sweet deliciousness of that treat).  It's a big circle, and running the circumference is a padded couch.  The idea is, you sit on this couch...which can fit probably like 25-30 people, and the circle moves around and around, gathering speed...then stops, tilts, and bounces.

Sally and the carnie..shooting for a prize.
  Keep in mind, there are no restraining devices.  This means that the entire goal of this ride is to cause you to topple out of your seat.  This ride lasts about thirteen minutes.  I've added a video so you can see the insanity for yourself.  I, of course, wanted to try it, so I convinced my three friends to join me.  I wish someone had taken a video of us--at one point only one of us was secure; one was holding that person's leg, I was holding her leg, and the other member of our party was clutching and struggling to grab on to the rail that lined the circle.  I've never laughed so hard in my life.

It is my opinion that carnivals are good places to go on dates...so accordingly I went on two dates at the Foire du Trone.  On one date I expeienced the Tagada (see above) and on another date I experienced the Skysomething.

On the Ferris Wheel (La Grande Roue)
  I can't remember the exact title, but it's a big bungee jumping device (which I'd actually done in Nice, but was willing to try again), and as me and my date were being pulled up, I thought I was going to have a panic attack.  When you release the cord, you freefall for about 6 seconds before the bungee catches...and then you swing back and forth.  That part is fun.  The freefall is terrifying.  But a good bonding experience.

So in conclusion, I highly recommend experiencing a French carnival...make sure you go on all the cheesy rides too (the ghost train, the clown fun house...) and definitely have your date win you a stuffed animal (I got a little teddy bear holding out a pink heart on which is written Prends mon coeur).  The sandwichs grecs at the Foire are unrivaled, and the affy tapples are so cheap!  Only 1euro50!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The entrance.
The entrance.
LExtreme!
L'Extreme!
Sally and the carnie..shooting for…
Sally and the carnie..shooting fo…
On the Ferris Wheel (La Grande Rou…
On the Ferris Wheel (La Grande Ro…
One two..two.
One two..two.
Asra and her barbe a papa
Asra and her barbe a papa
Christine is afraid of heights.
Christine is afraid of heights.
This is the fateful Tagada.
Paris
photo by: Sweetski