I didn’t grow up surrounded by war; for me it was just something that belonged to the movies, and the history books.
And yet when you are in Europe, you are constantly reminded that war is real. Every corner holds a plate, every town a monument honoring the fallen soldiers. I’ve seen how war permeates through generations through the conversations with my in-laws, who are French, and specially in their silence.
We often believe that to have an experience worth living, we must create worlds filled with fantasy, and yet nothings touches us as deeply as reality.
I spent 3 days at Puy du Fou, a place unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It has won every award when it comes to the most creative park in the world, and yet, I didn’t know what to expect.
I was at the trenches of World War I while a love story was taking place, I was part of a naval exploration during the 1800’s, and became an expectator at the Coliseum, where life and death decisions were made by Julius Cesar. I had vultures flying on top of me, brushing my hair, and more importantly, I saw the power of 4,000 people united to share the history of France. Can you imagine what 4000 people means? It takes a village. Perhaps they are there in the hope that all the mixed experiences that you feel when you are there, will keep us away from war.
It reminded me how far we’ve gotten as a society, but at the same time how lucky I am to be doing this video, while many countries are going through different versions of war. We need to use our collective memory to engineer the world in such a way that all this suffering… stops.
Yes, you are in France and they speak French, but there is an alternative translation for most of their shows. All you need to do is download their app before you go, and bring your headphones!
I drove from Bordeaux, and it took us less than an hour. You could also drive from Paris; it takes about 3 hours and a half from there.
I stayed at ‘La Citadelle’, which is a beautiful medieval city, with direct access to the park. If you go to the night shows, it’s practical to be right there. The place was beautiful, and my children loved it. The entrance looks like a castle! Consider staying at least two nights.
Book your meals in advance. The restaurants are great, and with very nutritious options. It’s not your average burger and fries kind of place. They also have shows during meals, that need to be booked in advance as well.
Book ‘Cinéscénie’, the show that happens thanks to 4,000 volunteers, in advance. People go to the extreme of booking one year prior, because of how popular it is.
THINGS TO KNOW:
Puy du Fou is a non-for-profit and re-invests the money they make. They also support multiple causes and associations all over the world. It also has a green certification, that is really hard to get. You’ll be surprised by the beautiful nature that you’ll encounter along the way.
Everything. Absolutely everything. It’s beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before. Arrive early in the morning to make the best out of your day.
More information: www.puydufou.com