Our next stop on the train through the southwest of France after Arles was the village of Collioure. I was completely enamored as soon as we arrived. We only stayed for two days, but I could have stayed for the rest of the summer. The colors of the buildings and the clear blue water were quintessentially Mediterranean, and the lifestyle was relaxed. Our last morning, I woke up before my boys and went for a walk through town and to the water just as the locals were beginning their days. I went into a boulangerie for a croissant aux amandes and enjoyed hearing the southern dialect of French in the conversations between the regulars and the bakery’s owner. It was a beautiful, peaceful morning.

For more of my photos, visit here: Collioure Album on Flickr

Our last night in Collioure, France was playing in the World Cup. My dad and step-mom offered to babysit so that Rudy, my brother, his girlfriend and I could go out for a drink and watch the match. The only place to have a seat free was a bar called Les Templiers. The first thing I noticed when we walked in were the walls absolutely covered from top to bottom in amazing paintings. I didn’t think much more of it while we enjoyed the match and our wine. After France (sadly) lost, we started up a conversation with a man who was visiting with his mother at the table next to us. The woman, in her 70’s and from England, had been vacationing in Collioure since she was 19 years old, and told me the story of all the paintings. It turns out that the owner (now deceased), was a great art appreciator and would accept paintings from artists of the time in exchange for lodging, food, and drinks. You can imagine my amazement when we learned that among these artists were Picasso, Matisse and Miro!

After checking out of our hotel and a last walk by the water, we made the walk up the hill to the tiny train station and made our way to Barcelona. Rudy, Noah, and I stayed only one night in Barcelona and said goodbye to my family early the next morning to head up to San Sebastian.





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