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Fete des Montagnes

September 4, 2014

On Sunday, we had a grand adventure in a neighboring town, about a 15 minute bus ride away.  It was the annual Fete des Montagnes, where the town parades the animals from the mountains and into pastures for the winter.  It is similar to a fair, with food and crafts and a parade featuring the Savoie culture (we are in the Savoie region of France).  The day included a lot of waiting, but enjoying the down time, a lot of walking, and some lessons learned (like which side of the street to stand on when you’re waiting for your bus…and watching it drive away and having to wait another three hours…that happened).  But, it was a great day to enjoy the local culture and tastes of France!  Here are some (or a lot of) pictures…

Brochure, because I can't yet spell in French

Brochure, because I can’t yet spell in French

Got there early, so we played at the park while we waited for the parade to start (also, safe parenting!)

Got there early, so we played at the park while we waited for the parade to start (also, safe parenting!)

Park cutie!

Park cutie!

Our fellow MAF compatriots, Dave & Ashley, came along - and twinsies!

Our fellow MAF compatriots, Dave & Ashley, came along – and twinsies!

Walking around town trying to find the festival, we found the town of Ugine to be beautiful!

Walking around town trying to find the festival, we found the town of Ugine to be beautiful!

Ugine houses

Ugine houses

There was some sort of fortress…with tunnels!

There was some sort of fortress…with tunnels!

Experimenting with the camera focus

Experimenting with the camera focus

The top of the fortress thingy

The top of the fortress thingy

The festival was on the top of a hill

The festival was on the top of a hill

Looking down into Ugine

Looking down into Ugine

The pasture land was picturesque - and the garden was perfect!

The pasture land was picturesque – and the garden was perfect!

Les Montanges

Les Montanges

Wild grapes?!  They were sour, but fun!

Wild grapes?! They were sour, but fun!

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

We found the festival!!

We found the festival!!

Serious bread.

Serious bread.

The local crafts were fun to watch.

The local crafts were fun to watch.

Watching the wood lathe - he made a honey server

Watching the wood lathe – he made a honey server

Pretty storefront

Pretty storefront

This copper booth - we wanted all the things.

This copper booth – we wanted all the things.

This guy looked so French to me!  Can you see the dagger on his hip??

This guy looked so French to me! Can you see the dagger on his hip??

Waiting for the parade to begin...

Waiting for the parade to begin…

Here comes the parade!

Here comes the parade!

Traditional packs

Traditional packs

The music was really fun!

The music was really fun!

Some of the couples were doing traditional folk dances

Some of the couples were doing traditional folk dances

Those hats - and they were wearing wooden clogs.

Those hats – and they were wearing wooden clogs.

Adorable!

They seemed happier in person…

Even the babies were in traditional Savoie dress!

Tiny sheep herder

Tiny sheep herder

Cider press and free samples!

Cider press and free samples!

Baa

Baa

The cows were huge and had loud bells - no one's getting lost in the mountains with those on!

The cows were huge and had loud bells – no one’s getting lost in the mountains with those on!

The local sports clubs also gave demonstrations during the parade.  Here is the local judo club - Matthew has done judo for several years.

The local sports clubs also gave demonstrations during the parade. Here is the local judo club – Matthew has done judo for several years.

The guys climbed things with bikes…not rode them, climbed with them.  It was impressive!

The guys climbed things with bikes…not rode them, climbed with them. It was impressive!

Enjoying some cider and the parade

Enjoying some cider and the parade

Over at the animal display - old farm equipment working hard...

Over at the animal display – old farm equipment working hard…

It was an awesome experience and we’re glad to have gone!  What a way to be immersed in the culture and the language!

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