Zoo La La!

18th July, 2014 | Article By Frances Murray

We had a lovely time at Château de la Barben, reputed to be the most beautiful castle in Provence.  It is perched on rocks, all turrets and towers, a proper castle, surrounded by greenery and cool waters.

There was an event going on when we visited, that went over our heads slightly, not being familiar with french customs, however, they did go to a lot of effort with games and displays and everyone seemed to get involved.

Close by even more to discover.  A 33 hectare park enclosing the Parc Zoologique  (the largest zoo in south-east France).  We took our time to walk round (about 4 hours) we weren’t in a hurry as it was hot in the Provence sun and we stopped in the shady picnic areas distributed around the Parc quite a few times.

The animals appeared to live in semi-freedom and looked contented.  You may not see anything particularly rare and there aren’t lots of glass-fronted enclosures for you to peer through at sad-faced gorillas and circling sharks, more like a petting zoo where the giraffes nonchalantly bowed their heads over the low fencing, munching hay.  The surroundings were befitting of the many exotic species, bearing a resemblance to the plains of Africa.

You couldn’t pack more into a day – well worth a detour.

By Frances Murray

Frances Murray
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