Posted by: vlibrizzi | September 25, 2009

Fontainebleau: Le capital du cheval

When we first moved to Fontainebleau, we learned that in addition to having an amazing chateau, an expansive forest famed for its massive boulders, and a great downtown, the city is also considered to be the “Capital of horse activites.” Apparently people come to Fontainebleau from all over Europe to attend the many equestrian events throughout the year. 

DSC_0105Since C. and I aren’t huge horse buffs, we’ve pretty much ignored the signs around town advertising different equestrian events over the past few months, but this weekend, it has been impossible to avoid it.

All of a sudden, town is full of horse-loving folks and there are signs and stages set up all over the city. For example, right outside our window, the town has set up a mini-jumping field with a huge flatscreen TV monitor, hurdles, wooden horses, REAL grass! See photo to the left.

C. and I were shocked when we woke up the other morning, looked out our window and instead of seeing the concrete square, we saw….grass! 

DSC_0106In addition to all of the horse signs and corny displays, the town is packed this weekend. Just check out the photo to the left that I took earlier of the cafes near our apartment. They’re filled!

But it’s not only like that at night, the town has been packed for the past few days. For example, I invited some friends to come over this morning and none of them could find a parking space anywhere close to my house. 

So, determined to figure out what’s going on, I looked at the Fontainebleau website, and apparently the town expects 50,00o people this weekend for some kind of European riding championship!

Who knew there were that many horse-jumping fans! Maybe I should start to take an interest in this sport…perhaps I’m missing out on something.

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