SAINTES MARIES DE LA MER,CAMARGUE's and ROMA capital.
Saintes Maries de la Mer Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
As I had there in Auberge Cavalière few km far from the village center of Saintes Maries de la Mer a boring conference ,I shorted the session (as often, when I'm in scenic areas) and we got plenty of time during our weekend to visit again the capital of Camargue and to enjoy its streets,beaches,horses and bulls,traditions and .......mosquitoes!
CAMARGUE is a triangular area between Languedoc and Provence in the south of France,a river delta formed by the 2 branches of the river Rhône and the Mediterranean sea.This marshy area has an exceptional biological diversity:one can find there more than 400 species of birds including herons,aigrettes, pink flamengos,horses(an ancient breed of grey horses with a black skin underlying a white hair coat),bulls which are the center of many of cultural traditions.
The SAINTES- MARIES -DE -LA -MER,is located 45 km from the first largest commune in France,Arles.With 2500 residents in Winter but over 50000 in Summer,it is a fishing village built around its unusual church,Notre Dame de la Mer and associated since the Medieval times with the Roma(Gypsies,in French Gitans).Every year in May,Gypsies from all over Europe gather here on pilgrimage to venerate their patron saint,saint Sarah.
This village overcrowded in Summer,on the 24th 25th May.... has a pedestrian town center with countless souvenirshops along its narrow streets.Danielle bought 2 boxes of Fleur de sel sea salt.
Sandy beaches and the large marshlands around the village are very touristy(don't worry there is a lot of space).One can meet there the white horses and black bulls of the manades(ranch) and its gardians(cowboys).We did an interesting cruise on the Rhône river to rediscover the rich fauna of Camargue.