The boys had determined the previous day that they wanted to make a pilgrimage to the memorial site at Canet beach (just outside of Perpignan), which honours those lost in the 2008 crash off the coast where we stood. While it was a little difficult to find, the effort was worthwhile as it was really important for Phil and Roger to pay their respects, and it was moving for us girls too.
After a lunch break under the umbrella in a sunny café, we set off for Collioure, not really knowing what to expect, save what Rick Steves had said in his France 2014 guidebook. Frankly, we think he undersold it a little – while his report was glowing, we were certainly much more impressed than we expected to be, knowing only what he had written about it. Granted, it was a stunning day, with not too many visitors like us, so we were able to find a park and go exploring. I can imagine in the high season it could be a nightmare, but at this time of the year it is manageable and oh so beautiful. The setting, the colour of the sea and the most beautiful colours of the buildings, create quite a visual impact – I can see why so many flock there to escape wintry climes. We had a good couple of hours exploring the picturesque streets, and venturing out onto the rock promontory for great views back to the beach and out to the ocean. As soon as I saw it, it thought immediately of beautiful Vernazza, which left a similar impression.
On our return to Hotel de Vigniamont, we retreated to the sunny rooftop terrace, for relaxing pre-dinner drinks and then we returned to L’Entre Pots, for another perfect dining experience, before returning to pack for our journey to Callas.