We are on our way to Spain again in October 2016. We first stopped in Le Puy en Velay, the gorgeous pilgrim town perched on basalt needles. We stopped a second time in charming Collioure near the French border with Spain, in the Languedoc-Roussillon.
We drive south through the hills of the Auvergne – huge bridges swing over the valleys – always a great scenery. Then the highway winds down. Cypresses and pine trees are welcoming us. The rain has stopped, the sun shines. The temperatures are warmer and my jeans are too hot. We arrive in the Mediterranean climate.
Our hotel of charm, Casa Païral, tucked away in a tiny dead street
In Collioure we now have selected a hotel of charm and “Relais de Silence”, the Casa Païral. Indeed, after several turns we find it tucked away in the tiny dead end street Rue du Pasteur. I enter with our car and stop in front of the gate. After having unloaded our luggage, I have to leave this narrow dead end street backwards – I had beads of perspiration on my forehead.
The hotel is quite a contrast to the sober IBIS hotel from last night. We immediately feel at home.
Charming Collioure at night
It is already late. We stroll along the harbour. The fortified church “Eglise Notre Dames des Anges” has been built by Vauban in the 17th century, when he planned to change Collioure into a garnison town (as this region has become part of the French empire in the 17th century). The clock tower looks like a light house.
There are quite a few restaurants at this central square. We have fish at Casa Leon. We love sea fish, when we are close to the sea.
Collioure inspired the fauvism artists in 1905
On an early morning walk we follow the tracks of Henri Matisse and André Derain. They came to Collioure in 1905 to paint fauvism art.
Fauvism art gives priority to the color that creates the visual impression of the painting.
We gather some memories in the narrow streets of Collioure. Colorfully painted houses,…
… flowers all over,…
… and a great view of the Mediterranean Sea with the small chapel on the small island St. Vicent.
Once again we look back to the harbour that the waves play with.
Farther south to Spain
We say good-bye to Collioure and drive south following the sinuous street along the Côte de Vermeille.
We enter Spain, follow the coast for some more time and then turn towards Barcelona and Hospitalet del’Infant.