Collioure

This picture is from a drive we took from France to Spain along the coast; we made so many stops that it was a minor miracle we made it anywhere.

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Collioure
A street scene from Collioure in the southern tip of France

One of our favorite stops was Collioure. We intended to stop only for a few minutes but lingered half a day. We walked around, sat in outdoor cafes, and mainly enjoy the Mediterranean way of things.

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This is a street scene along the main road through town. I was walking around taking pictures of the side streets. The buildings are painted every color of the rainbow which made it even more fun to take pictures.

Markets of Collioure

Markets of Collioure
Markets of Collioure France                                           Click here to purchase a framed print

The markets in Collioure are on narrow streets that lead to courtyards filled will shops. This is a fishing village along the mediterranean that’s also a destination for French and Spanish vacationers on the account that its close to the Spanish border. In fact its part of Catalonia, a region with a separate language and customs that crosses the borders and envisions itself as an independent state.

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The border crossing between France and Spain is up a mountain road at the very top. As I drove past I mistook the boarded up buildings for a tourist attraction, but in fact it was the old border checkpoints that were used before the EU. When you see those old stations it amazing to think that there are no more borders within the EU.

Anyway, I loved the colors of the houses here, they reminded me of homes in tropical regions where colors are used freely and in excess. I suppose that’s an earmark of a warm climate, colorful houses that reflect the atmosphere. Further north we tend to stick with muted or darker tones to endure the winter. The feeling here was almost magic as we sat at outdoor bistros and meandered along the narrow streets looking for bargains. I was too busy taking pictures to shop but my wife found a couple of dresses by a designer dressmaker at the little shop on the left.

Houses of Collioure

Houses of Collioure
Houses of Collioure along the Mediterranean coast of Southern France                        Buy a fine art print

These are houses in the old city center of Collioure. I am aiming up with the lens to get the colors and sky, but just below the field of view is a busy marketplace with all manner of shops. While my wife bought a locally made dress I walked around the square taking it all in. In the end we both left happy.

These houses remind me of California or even Florida. In warm climates homes are painted and colorful. In cold climates we make houses out of brick and the effect is completely different. Of course houses don’t look just like this in California, but the colors remind me of how varied they are when compared to the east coast of the US.

We had just finished having a drink at a cafe by the water and were meandering among the shops. I think the atmosphere of the place got to us because we lingered way too long. By the time we got back in the car we had many hours of driving to go. However I wouldn’t change a thing, in fact I plan to come back here and stay a little longer. These mediterranean costal villages are worlds unto themselves.

Woman Walking the Shore

Catalonian Woman Walking
Woman Walking the Shore in Collioure France which is in Catalonia.                                          Buy a limited edition print

While in Collioure on my way to Barcelona I noticed this Catalonian woman walking along the shore. Little did I know that the residents of this region consider themselves Catalonian first, then French. Same goes for the Spaniards just south of the boarder. The region they live in crosses the border and is known as Catalonia.

If I can judge the people by the way they live, then they seem to be a solid bunch. When I was in Barcelona I noticed the Catalonian flag hanging from every apartment, literally tens of thousands. Silly me; I thought the flags had something to do with Barcelona FC, which if you don’t know is the most awesome soccer team in the whole universe. But no, not BFC, the flags were in support of Catalonian independence.

I’m just a visitor to the area, I know nothing about the politics, but it quickly became apparent that many are serious about becoming a separate country. That was reinforced by news of votes and such in international headlines about the same time I was here. But it seems for now, Barcelona (Catalonia) is still part of Spain and Collioure is still part of France.

So back to this woman walking the beach. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I suspect that Catalonian politics was the furthest thing from her mind.

Typical Day in Collioure

Typical Day in Collioure
Typical Day in Collioure, France                                           Purchase gallery print

Actually, I have no idea if this is a typical day or not, I’ve only been here once. But because it was a Tuesday and not the weekend, I have to assume it was typical. I guess I’ll have to wait until I come back to be sure. The beach is protected by a seawall and the shops are all open and outdoor bistros serve beer, wine, coffee and pastries. Personally I could get used to this as a typical day. We stopped along here and had a drink at one of the cafes as we watched the everything around us. If I did live here I’d probably live to be a ripe old age, playing checkers or bocci ball with the other escapees from modern civilization. Then I’d sit and have a glass of red wine while I watched the people go by. Then I’d get up in the morning and do it all again. Just another typical day in Collioure, France.

Chapel in Collioure France

Yesterday we stopped in Collioure which is a French village on the Mediterranean just north of the border with Spain. It's a lovely little place with views of the sea and many cafes and shops. There is a cathedral right at the edge of the sea and then extending out is a smaller chapel. Perhaps a place to wait or pray for mariners, I'm not really sure. Nonetheless the clouds were dramatic so I captured this as I walked out from the church to the chapel. Once out there the wind was brisk and you would surely lose anything not held tight, yet back in the village there was only a breeze. A perfect place for an afternoon.
Chapel by the sea in Collioure along the Mediterranean                               Buy print

Yesterday we stopped in Collioure which is a French village on the Mediterranean just north of the border with Spain. It’s a lovely little place with views of the sea and many cafes and shops. There is a cathedral right at the edge of the sea and then extending out is a smaller chapel. Perhaps a place to wait or pray for mariners, I’m not really sure. Nonetheless the clouds were dramatic so I captured this as I walked out from the church to the chapel. Once out there the wind was brisk and you would surely lose anything not held tight, yet back in the village there was only a breeze. A perfect place for an afternoon.