Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Issigeac En Bodega

Bodega came to our local village of Issigeac on Sunday night and I went with some friends.  It started about 6 pm and was only just beginning to warm up when I  left at about 10:30. The whole village had been turned into a festival and all roads in were closed.  There was a small admission charge
of only €2.50 which is about $US 4.00
So what is a Bodega? Apparently, Bodega is the Spanish word for the wine cellar.  The Spanish influence in this part of France is very strong with less than a three hour drive to the border.
However, in this instance, Bodega, is a particular type of festival usually held in open air in the summer.  In the case of our local village it simply means getting as many different local organisations as possible to take part,
providing drinks, food or entertainment.  There were stands selling beer, wine, coffee and all sorts of other drinks. There were stands selling sandwiches, plated salads, bowls of delicious looking mussels, oysters, hot dogs and virtually any other food you care to mention - I don't remember anyone selling Burgers though!  And I might be exaggerating but every food stand - and there were probably 100 - seemed to
be selling the obligatory "frites", (french fries).  We walked around for about an hour and took in the whole scene before deciding to go and find something to eat.  I say find, but really it was choose as the array was quite spectacular. We finally decided on roasted breast of duck in a 
baguette with a carton of frites, which was delicious. All the local bars and restaurants had set up tables out in the street and everywhere bands played. There were singers, guitarists, rock bands, the whole gamut of popular music and jazz.  I stopped for a while to listen to a brilliant jazz singer and then wandered on and found a four piece band supporting a wonderful pop singer. Sadly, none of the bands said who they were so I can only mention one!!
My favourite local band, Les Touristes, were performing on the main stage.  At least I guess it was the main stage.  It was set up against the walls of the chateau facing into the main square and was populated by different bands all evening.  They were all
bodega excellent.  Les Touristes were the band I talked about a couple of weeks ago when I told you about the Marché Gourmande at the local vineyard. They do a marvelous tribute to the Blues Brothers.   And then, on top of all this, there were
marching bands roaming the town but never seeming to collide -there was a magnificent drum corps who were being led by a remarkable guy who managed to conduct and hold the corps together whilst dancing around and playing a drum himself.  There was a marching band playing some excellent music dressed in spectacular blue and white costumes and another playing very different music dressed in traditional orange and black.

I took my camera but everywhere was too crowded for me to get many photos.  I did get one of a band playing with all their equipment under plastic sheets as it had been raining on and off all day. I thought the weather would have dampened the attendance but all the car parks were full, the additional parking that had been opened up on all the car parks was full.  If you have ever been to a festival or market in France you'll know what I mean when I say, all the roads were full.

It was a great evening and I hope raised a lot of money for all our local associations.


Kate said...

What a lovely evening and, with all that variety, you of course chose the duck again!!

More nice photos, Ian!

chaiselongue said...

Sounds like a great festival - and I'm not surprised you chose to eat the duck. Magret de canard is one of the specialities of south-west France, isn't it? And a village festival is another speciality. What fun!