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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 42.5245, 3.08232
The drive from Rognonas to Collioure takes approx 3 hours. We were staying at the villa of friends Ann & Ian whom we picked up 2 days later from Perpignan airport. Collioure is a very attractive seaside town which once was a major attraction for Matisse and Derain because of it's light and picturesque views. Our first foray was around the harbour and by the Royal Palace. In the main square there were crowds of people and we ended up watching several lively dances by people in local costume, which was an unexpected surprise. There are many little side streets in Collioure full of art and gift shops and a multitude of restaurants , many overlooking the sea. Our first meal was at the Amphyteriyon. The food was good and we had a view over the harbour. Despite lots of waiters rushing about they managed to get every course wrong in the first instance. It was all good in the end but they even missed the wine off the bill- but we did tell them ! The following day we tried the Neptune which is a bit more expensive but the food is terrific and beautifully presented. We had
been here previously on our anniversary and it still didn't disappoint. Later we did a big shop for food at the local Lidl as we didn't know what Ann & Ian would feel like after their journey, and they have a very nice balcony which was an ideal place for the BBQ, which we had on their first evening.
As they know the territory they suggested a trip out to Castelnou, which is a mountain village with little up and down side streets. We arrived mid morning and there were very few tourists about, which was good for walking around the narrow streets. There were a disturbing number of witch dolls in the shops- not sure what that was about! A life sized witch outside one shop cackled when you clapped your hands by it! We did the trip round the castle which does not contain much but there are lovely views from the top. After that we detoured to a view point from which we could see the Orgues d'Ille sur Tete-or Organ pipes, great rock formations on the hill side. It is possible to do a guided tour through same but inevitably it was time to head back for
lunch. Port Vendres the next fishing town to Collioure has an amazing fish market, the type of which we do not have in the UK. Stefan treated us to his Seafood Tagliatelle with the freshest mussels, squid and prawns from this market.
The visit was all too short but very enjoyable. However we had to get on the road again to drive across the whole of the South of France and into Italy to see more friends.
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