|Colorful fishing boats line Colliere's harbor|
In the summer there are hordes of beach tourists and the towns are packed, but in late September most of them have gone and we enjoyed the towns with their residents.
Although Argeles, Elne and the other small town
|The massive Chateau bisects the town|
|The church of Notre-Dame-des-Angeles|
Fishing boats still line the small harbor along with three small beaches, still with sunbathers and swimmers (right in the harbor - the water was crystal clear).
Colliere has a long history. Founded as a trading post by the Phoenicians and ancient Greeks, it was later occupied by the Romans, Visigoths and Arabs. The sixteenth C Fort St. Elne and 17th C Fort Miradou overlook the town. Right on the harbor is the imposing Chateau-Royal which was founded by the Templers in the 12th Century and used as a part time residence by the Kings of Mallorca and Aragon.
Cafes and restaurants line the avenues along the beaches. One of these The Templers was a favorite with Matisse, Derain and the rest of the Fauvists and has some original work hanging on their walls. The town has installed replicas of the paintings hung where they were done and a map showing you the locations. You can then compare the view and the work.
The road south from here led over rocky hills and steep cliffs down to Spain. In the next town of Port Vendres we stopped to look at the boats in the Marina and noticed a familiar profile. It was a Nauticat 44 "Lady Caroline" owned by the Dawsons out of England. It was the oldest 44 I believe we've seen and in the best shape of any as well. The teak decks looked like new (they probably were) and they had installed a stern cockpit! We had a nice chat.
Neither of us had ever been to Spain so we waited to eat our lunch until we arrived. Naturally it was paella and it was excellent. We each had our own pan and the waiter carefully counted out the shrimp, langostinos, clams, mussels etc. Yum.
|Broad quays line the harbor|
|With flower bed and benches|
|Although it was the end of September, there were bathers|
|One of the Fauvist prints, I believe Derain's, on the waterfront|
|Beautiful Lady Caroline, a Nauticat 44|
|The coast line down to Spain|