Camargue, Saintes Maries de la Mer, Bouches du Rhone, Provence. A visit.
Photo feature - May 6, 2004
A visit to Saintes Maries de la Mer, Bouches du Rhone, Provence
When the joys of Spring beckon - Camargue is a great place to enjoy the beginnings of Summer. Leaving cosmopolitan Montpellier, taking the coast road via La Grand Motte, to Aigues Mortes (with lovely medieval walled town), - one enters the Camargue.
The great plain of the Camargue, that hosts the river Rhone, is a mix of ranch, natural wilderness, dunes, and expanses of water. Nature writhes with white horses, black bulls, and an incredible variety of birds, animals, and plants.
For the wanderer - its no better place to slow down - and one of the first steps is to take the Bac (river ferry) over the Petit or Grand Rhone, before reaching its intimate centers. Les Saintes Maries de la Mer is its capital - on the coast filled with mystery and adventure.
The name of the village originates from the story that Mary, sister of the virgin Mary; Mary Salome (mother of James the Greater, and John); and Mary Magdalen landed here safely after their boat went adrift from Palestine. There are 3 huge pilgrimages to the village - including the gathering of European gypsies in May.
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