Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Au Bord de la Mer

 Hard to believe that I was there.  We woke up early in the morning (after getting to sleep after the 5 course meal at about 1:30 am!) and took a 2 hour train ride. This is Collioure,  right on the  beautiful Mediterranean Sea.  I took this photo just before we left which is when the sun finally decided to come out.  Earlier is was overcast and quite cool.  There were families on the beach which was made up of very small stones and some were even swimming.  This village is very old and has an old fortress that was once used to defend against pirates and is very close to Spain.  Lots of shops and restaurants with many cobblestone very narrow streets.  The terrain was slightly hilly so by the end of the day we were ready to sit for a while.

The first order of business was--guess what?--lunch, of course!  I got a salad this time which was wonderful.  The little pieces of toast on top were covered with warmed goat cheese upon which I put a little bit of honey (in the cute little white pot on my plate).  I saved room for a white chocolate ice cream cone that I got later in the day.  There is a lot of Spanish influence in this town and the restaurant was called Le Campanar.   Speaking of cobblestones, here's another cobble-photo.It seems very romantic to imagine that these are the exact stones that folks all those years walked on--until one realizes that these streets have to be repaved periodically because the stones wear just like any other pavement surface.  But still.

After lunch we wandered down to the beach.  You can see that it's fairly overcast.  There was a military boat there with officers undergoing training.  After reading some info on this we found out that the military wants their officers to become "hardened" so they have these strenuous trainings.  Actually all we saw them doing was talking with each other and moving about the boat.  It looked like they were going to go out and "harden" when the boat headed out to sea, however, the boat backed up and appeared to parallel park along the pier.  We concluded that it is important to know that on sea as well as land!
     We actually were quite chilly.  Nancy and I thought this was an especially lovely pose and thought we may send it out as a Christmas card.  Let's just go ahead and say it is.  Merry Christmas!Carolyn and I had this photo taken (left) which was also rather fetching.  I had purchased a scarf/headband that I thought would be a good way to keep my hair out of my face but it proved to be a bust.  This was the best I could do after several attempts.  In one try I ended up looking like an elderly Russian lady wearing her babushka.  It was good for a yuk and that did help warm us up.
THIS PICTURE IS OF THE WC (water closet aka toilette, bathroom, etc.).  NONE OF THESE WOMEN ARE US!

I saw lots of "Caners" (folks who, like me, walk with the assistance of their trusted and loyal cane.)  I doubt, however that any of them has named their canes.  My loyal companion, "Matt Cain, the Perfect Cane" has been with me through this entire trip and I am so very thankful for him.  I think there were some Senior tour groups with us and it was very comforting to see others at my pace.

This memorial to the right says:


This means:  Collioure (honors) its children who died for France.   This is referring to  the soldiers who died fighting in the war (1914-1918).  There is a war memorial in almost every French town.

We're turning in early tonight because we're off and running on another adventure tomorrow.  I will be sure and keep you "posted".  This picture of moi standing at the station saying "Au revoir" to Collioure will also serve as "Bonsoir" to my reading friends!

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