"May Festivals" - Sedan, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France
In the month of May two amazing and very different festivals occur in France. One is a "Medieval Festival" in the Champagne Ardennes region.
The other is the Gypsy Pilgrimage in Provence.
First stop will be in the historical fortress (the largest in Europe) town of Sedan, a city that hosts a medieval festival each year. Walking around this huge castle with knights, ladies and even a medieval torture chamber takes one back in time. The locals compete in games for the honor of their neighborhood in this beautiful city.
Second stop is the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in the beloved region of Provence. Every year in May, Gypsies from all over the world gather in the tiny city of Saint Marie de La Mer. They take their patron Saint Sara through the narrow streets of this charming village and deliver her to the sea. The name of this place, which is a peaceful tourist destination during the summer, suggests the city's religious importance. It means Saint Mary of the Sea.
Off the Beaten Path
Nobody expects to see cowboys in Provence but in Camargue where flamingos are a common sight and bulls graze next to rice fields, French cowboys called Guardians are having a round up. There is also a bullring where ribbons are bravely ripped from the horns instead of a sword in the heart. Provence is also where impressionist legends, Cezanne (Aix en Provence) and Van Gough (Arles), created some of their best work. The Festivals program takes the viewer to the actual sites that inspired these masters.
Located in the Rhone-Alps region, Lyon has always been a strategic crossroads. The Festivals crew tests the city's reputation for some of the finest dining in France as they experience the different cuisines that can be found there. Three great restaurants are profiled, a traditional "Bouchon", an established Michelin Star restaurant and an innovative nouvelle cuisine chef. One of the better-known exports from this region is Beaujolais wine.
A trip to George Debeof's vineyards is a great way to taste the landscape north of Lyon, as well as its trademark wine.