I missed the Carnaval de Dunkerque because of our winter break (post coming soon!), so when Doug and Marion told me they were going to one in Bergues I took my chances and went along. (side-note: I’ve started to avoid the massive travel groups, things just end up going badly.) Also, Bergues is the town from the uber-famous French movie Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’its. If you haven’t seen it, you should! But I heard Will Smith will be making an American version soon. Its about the stereotypes of the North and is super funny.
Train travel, in general, is wonderful in France. That is unless you’re trying to get from one little nothing town to another little nothing town. We had to leave a little before 9 to get there in time for it to be worth our trip. Since we arrived before things really got started, we walked around the city for a bit, trying to find the places from the movie. Bergues is a lot cuter than I imagined!
We then headed back to the main square where more people were slowly started to show up. I didn’t realize that “dressing up” meant men dressing as women. Do they do this in New Orleans too? I couldn’t remember. Anywho, a lot of men dressed as women and then just lots of really bright pink. Which is very contrary to the all black French people usually wear. Vera (Doug’s friend) said this was their closeted version of a gay-pride parade. Quite close, I think.
Our group enjoying the festivities! My mask and beads are courtesy of Erica!!
The main part of the carnaval that we participated in was the parade. Their version of a parade was a small marching band followed by a crowd of people. We joined in once it passed us and followed it until things fizzled out. There were a few moments when I thought I would be crushed to death, but overall it was fun. We did run to the side a few times to avoid the pushing/dancing. Oh, and Doug saved me from some overly affectionate French men.
I’m not sure how late things went, but we had to catch our train at 5:30. Just when they were throwing cheese from the town hall! At least we have the Carnaval de la Betise coming up in April!