Monday, 25 January 2010

Gallettes des Rois - a great way to find out about the Tour de France.

Just a quick word about La 'Gallette des Rois', before I talk about the real reason for this post.

Gallette des Rois, otherwise known as the 'Kings Cake' is used to celebrate the Epiphany and in this region of France the day to aim for is the 6th January for the actual celebration.

As the tradition goes, a little trinket (originally a bean) is placed in the cake and whoever gets it becomes King for the day and can rule over proceedings. The down side is that the responsibility for getting the cake for the next year falls upon this person as well. Actually it might not be a down side if you like to party.

Wikipedia have a very good account of the history and traditions of the Gallette des Rois which you can read about via the link.

From our perspective it was a good excuse for a belated new year party and to get out of the house and meet a few new people.Now the benefit of talking to a few people is that you get to find out a few things, and on occasion one or two things that we should really have known already. We definitely need to get out more and I am not even going to talk about the fact I thought the World Cup was in Spain when in fact it is in South Africa; too long a story.

Anyway I digress, what I am talking about is that we discovered that the 'Tour de France' is coming right past our doorstep this year; the 13th and 14th stages are to and from Revel. The dates for stages are the 17th and 18th of July going from Rodez to Revel on the 17th and Revel to Ax 3 Domains on the 18th; Ax being in the Pyrenees. So guess who is going to be standing on the side of the road looking out for all the freebies from the advertisers caravans as they go by.

The last time we went to the Tour de France it was when it went through the Corbieres region south of Carcassonne, which was a little bit of a drive, but well worth the effort. So having it go by about 5 minutes away from the front door is a real bonus. It is great fun and you get to chat to visitors from loads of different countries, including as far afield as Australia, and the whole event has a carnival atmosphere about it.

This year is a bit of a milestone as well, because it is the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France using the  Pyrenees for some of the stages. So all in all a bit of an event.

Now here is the thing, as I am writing this, it has occurred to me that we are not actually booked up for those dates yet, so if you are a Tour de France fan, this is your chance to get booked in and prepare for the carnival. Get the timing right and you can have the added bonus of Bastille day on the 14th July and get to see the amazing fireworks display at 'La Cite' in Carcassonne as well. What a great week that would be.

You can find out about the Tour de France here and find a map of the route here.

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