Boules – or is it Petanque?
I googled boules and the Wikipedia short definition – Boules /bul/ is a collective name for games played with metal balls – made me think of some business deals I’ve been involved in. Discover France has a good explanation, enough that you could outfit yourself and be playing by the end of the week. Boules is like lawn bowling or bocce.
It seems that every village in the Aude has a boulodrome. Some are purpose built and some have just evolved over time into the place when boules are played. It seems to be mostly men who play, at least in the evenings it’s usually men. I’ve seen women playing during tournaments that take place in conjunction with village fetes in the summer.
The tournaments are fairly casual although some of the players are very serious. A trophy is awarded, usually at the ‘repas’ which is always part of a fete.
Today I was in Siran (it’s actually in the Herault not the Aude) and as I was leaving at 2.30 (14.30 for people who do metric time) there was a boules game in progress, complete with spectators. Nice way to pass a pleasant autumn afternoon in the south of France. Me, I had to work.