Saturday, 26 September 2009

Fish n'pish

I was tired when I added last night’s blog and I omitted a couple of photos that I took in Banyuls. Like many churches there was a bell tower. Big wows! I hear you say, but the tower had not one, but 4 bells and the bell tower was outside the church building. I don’t know if the bells are rung by pulling on ropes, but I doubt it. I wonder what the scrap value of a bell might be…

The other thing we noticed whilst pounding the streets was the down pipes for rainwater from the roofs of the houses. The majority ended with pottery fish heads. Perhaps they are supposed to be anchovies? Some ended just above pavement height, but many ended at waist height. My advice would therefore be, if you don’t want to get drenched whilst walking along a street in a downpour, make sure that you walk in the middle of the road. Better safe than sorry and soaking.

The next stop on our homeward journey was the small but famous fishing port of Collioure. Anchovy fishing is one of the major industries here, although we did not see any sign of the small fish during our visit. Collioure is a very picturesque, trendy place to see and be seen. Parking is a real problem, and many of the narrow streets are one way or no cars, but we managed to find a spot in the railway station car park, and we walked back down hill into town. There are a couple of small sandy beaches. There is a tourist trail where one can view copies of famous pictures painted by the greats, in situ where the artists painted them but we did not have time to dawdle.

It was lunchtime, so after a quick stroll around to marvel at the light which had made the place so attractive to the fauvists, Matisse and others. It was rather bright and sunny. Here is a link to the towns tourist site

I must go back when I have more time to wander round. For those of you who are architecturally inclined the church tower is shaped like a willy! Damn. I have lowered the tone of the blog yet again. The guide books marvel that it appears to sit in the sea. There are strong historical links with the Knights Templar.

After a nice lunch in a side street, we found a shop from which to buy a fridge magnet each, then headed back to the car.
The Satnav spoilt my day by taking us right into Perpignan for a rather sweaty half an hour of fun, before we popped out once again onto the open road.
The journey takes you along roads bordered by large vineyards, and narrow, very twisty roads some carved out of the base of sheer cliffs with the cliff forming a roof over your head with the river side open, so a bit like riding on a surfboard through a tunnel made by the waves (where French “expert” drivers enjoy their God given right to drive round the bends very fast using part of your side of the road. More sweaty moments.
The route we followed was toll free main road and very scenic, but there is one major problem, a small village called Maury. Here, right in the centre of the village, the one through road narrows to one vehicle’s width for 30 metres or so. If you are lucky and traffic going in your direction is hogging the road, you can progress quickly, if you are waiting for a gap in the traffic coming towards you, it might be time to break out the tea and sandwiches. This bit of road is completely stupid, and there is not a traffic light or gendarme in sight. So get it sorted now!!!!!!

Never one to shrink from controversy the next post will probably be titled "The only gay in the village"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to send me your comments or suggestions