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Collioure 16 May 2016

1116 : 1051

Travel day. We packed and left our lovely flat and found a taxi who zipped us to Barcelona Sants, the big new train station. The taxista and I transacted our whole business in Español, and I felt very comfortable. There wasn't much too it, but it wasn't awkward for either of us, and for me that's saying a lot! Got the lingo, must be time to leave Spain!

Sants is huge and busy, feels more like an airport ...and there's scanning of all your baggage and goodies (somewhat relaxed compared to TSA; one of the checkers was singing to another one, and when I smiled at him, he winked back), then scanning your tickets, checking your documents...

And then we're on the train, very plane-like, comfortable seats and little tray tables. We had a lovely sandwedge -- a triangular croissant-like thingy with lovely ham and cheese and lots of seeds. We had talked with a couple from SoCal in the waiting room, and they were relying on the train for food and were grumbling about their choices. I guess we have learned something about traveling.

Then we smoothly moved out through tunnels, outsquirts of high-rise apartments, the usual railroad-side squalor, and finally we were zipping along through the country...

1117 : 1043

1118 : 1041

Changing countries, it's interesting to see what's understood and valued, and what's being missed ... and of course, we get the perspective on what we are missing, too. This trip mostly ran through far-northern Spain (but we haven't left Catalunya!) and there were regimented rows of trees, not much forest, lots of open fields, sheep, tumble down houses...

Then, through a long tunnel under the Pyrénées and the border, and we're in France. Many more vineyards, almost no trees, more tucked in, and look:

1119 : 1039
<p>PVs as far as we could see!</p>

PVs as far as we could see!

1120 : 1037
<p>an anonymous river village</p>

an anonymous river village

1121 : 1033

After passing (rapidly! 295 Km/hr) through lots of villages, changing to a slow train in Perpignan, more villages, the first view of the sea ... and dragged our bags down the cobbled street 400 meters to the town square. More our scale, I think. 

More to come. It's time to go find dinner.

1122 : 1025
<p>Dinner. Le Tambourin. Yum! </p>

Dinner. Le Tambourin. Yum! 

1123 : 1021

Superb local red wine. (I'm more than a little drunk; I drank almost all of the 500ml bottle.) Baby razor clams, can't remember what they call them. More of same plus gambas and a whitefish that tasted like lobster, and a little bit of risotto with mushrooms. Then charcuterie and a little salad and local cheese. We trusted the chef, and he did not disappoint. Delicious. Did I mention that I am a little drunk? 

1124 : 1019
<p>a walk through Collioure in the gloaming</p>

a walk through Collioure in the gloaming

1125 : 1017

We managed to fiund our way tio the toip floor of our house in time for the last light. Collioure faces a little east of north, a very unusual oritentation here on the Mediterranean. The moon rises to the east, as always, but that's to our right. The sun sets to our left. Somewhat disoprienting, but trés interessant. 

I'm already a little bit in love with this town (and Rochelle is leaning that way too.) This is why we travel. 

1126 : 1013

A final dram of 40 degree liquor, "Le Roi de Majorque" specifically left for us by our hosts, Nathalie et Arnauld. We are so grateful to them for letting us stay in their wonderful quirky house in this strange and gorgeous place.

Nothing exceeds like excess! Good night all.

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