What better way to celebrate than a seafood feast avec vin blanc, but not before Sangria all round, as an acknowledgement of the Spanish influence on the port's history. After a wander along the foreshore checking out the spots Matisse and his proteges chose to paint in the early 1900s, we needed a grand marnier crepe and coffee to fortify ourselves. The Beneteau 55 anchored in the harbour grabbed our attention as we imagined our future entries by sea to similar quaint destinations.
The church to the northern end of the harbour had a magnificent carved timber and gold altar and its belltower doubled as a lighthouse. Being Easter Monday, the streets were lively with visitors and the shops were full of colourful wares. Incidentally, Good Friday is not a public holiday in France.
Beneteau at anchor in front of Notre Dame des Anges in Collioure harbour with its belltower cum lighthouse.
Colourful tourist trap.
Sangria time in Collioure
04/08/2012, Villefranche, France
Easter provided the opportunity to do a bit of sightseeing. We drove into the foothills of the snow covered Pyrenees to a little medieval village called Villefranche de Confluent. Not only was it picturesque, and had the best Michelin guide restaurant called Auberge St Paul, but there was a Festival of the Giants underway. Different teams paraded their giant figures through the passageways, dancing and playing music. The atmosphere was tremendous. While Ros, Myra and John flagged after the superb lunch and 2 glasses of Catalan wine and sheltered from the cool wind in the Renault Kangoo, Garth and Rick explored the nearby limestone caves which they said were the best they had seen.
Walking towards the centre of Villefranche