Edit Blog Post
Published: September 10th 2009
8/26 - We left Barcelona in the afternoon. As we rolled along next to the ocean we saw very small towns right by the sea. They looked like perfect little rural villages. We had planned to go to Montpellier and then onto Bordeaux. But these little villages looked so cool, maybe we should just be spontaneous and get off at one and try to find a place to stay? I think I see one with a hotel/restaurant sign over on that bluff...
Just as we were walking off the train, I decided to be dumb and quickly ask the guy across from us: do you think we could find a place to stay in this town? He couldn't speak English but flagged down two younger girls walking down the aisle. They told us we should come with them, to Perpignon, where we could have a good beach day. AND, they knew of a hostel near the train stop in Perpignon. AND, they spoke French 😊. At this point we were still reeling a little from the realization that our Spanish had been plenty good to get us by in Spain and that now not knowing any French felt a little, well, foreign. So we felt comfortable with our two friendly helpers, Adelaide and Sarah. Sarah spoke near perfect English as her father was from Michigan and she had lived there for a short time. My dumb and not spontaneous move actually led to a different spontaneous move, so it worked out.
We arrived, checked in, and ate at an Italian (go figure, only thing open in our part of Perpignon) restaurant.
8/27 - We woke and had free breakfast (more bread, great) and hoped a 2 hour bus with Adelaide and Sarah to the coastal town of Collioure. It's the Mediterranean of course, but we didn't realize that meant stones and not sand. It was a very beautiful touristy town right on the sea, but not exactly what we had been dying for - long white sand beaches. The beaches were very small and crowded, no jogging for me. Randomly, we ran into Simon and Katy, a French-Canadian couple we had met in Barcelona. They tell us to come visit them when we come to Marseille because they will have an apartment for us to stay at while they begin their study program in France.
Back at the hostel, we have dinner from the grocery and drink wine straight from our half-bottles. A schizophrenic playlist changes tunes rivaling the random walk of the SP500 - we're talking Beethoven straight into that heavy metal thrashing where you just yell inaudible muffled crap into the microphone. Gotta love hostels.