Oh my! Now I know. Every August the streets of Uzes turn from business into a carnival. Bulls run in the streets; brass bands with men and women in colorful uniforms “oomp-pa-pa” through the village; and parades with spectacular floats fill the place with music and lights.
The Uzes Fete Votive schedule goes on for six days. This is the running of the Bulls — Day One.
People line the “main” street of Uzes waiting for the entertainment to start.
Horses and cowboys from the Camargue ready themselves for the action.
They know there’s an important, dangerous job ahead.
Horses are restless. Even so, this one made a special effort to pose for the camera.
Handlers were listening for the signal to let out their cargo of Camargue bulls.
The crowds were anxious.
Then, in a flash, the truck gate was down and the bulls dashed out in a fury … faster than the eye … and faster than my camera. The bulls were released in such a hurry … three of them at once … that I thought I had missed it all.
In just a few minutes a buzz from the excited crowd signaled the bulls were on the way back!
Oops! Too fast. Missed again.
Thinking I had totally missed getting a shot of the bulls, I glanced around and saw that the young people standing near me — Arnaud and his friends from Normandy — had captured the action on video. They were more than happy to share it for the blog.
(Thank you Arnaud!)
Yes, it was over that fast… 2+ seconds!
What I didn’t know was that chasing the bulls up and down the boulevard goes on for an hour. Up and down, down and up.
And if you walk down the street, there are better places to view the spectacle.
After an hour of bulls and horses running up and down the street, I was able to catch a few decent shots. Mind you, they come storming down from the boulevard in a mass of horses with riders, bulls, and people chasing the bulls. Then they’re gone.
Yes, they were that close!
If you wonder what it feels like to be standing in the middle of a street with horses and bulls headed your way, check out the video.
Running of the bulls in Uzes today . Pamplona next!
Check out GingerandNutmeg.com for more photos and interesting factoids about similar celebrations nearby.