We need to show the Baileys and the Franks the incredible beauty of Collioure! Unfortunately it’s market day. Our usual parking lot is full so we park at our “old” condo and take the wonderful walk down the ravine into town. What a great remembrance!
The market is crowded but has both great food items and nonfood items. We buy North African spice blends for tagines and we find an apron for the kitchen. Mark has left his wallet back at the car so he and Howard walk back up the ravine. I say we’ll meet them at our old haunt, “Cafe Sola.” The man that serves us is nothing like our “old guy” (although he was not old). He has a difficult time understanding how many Sangrias I want and how many tapas I want. That can’t be my French! It must be his problem! When I go to the bathroom I see our old guy at the bar! Although he would not recognize me without the dogs. I arrive at the bathroom and open the door and there is a man nonchalantly urinating without the door closed let alone locked. The group recently had a conversation about people who do not lock the bathroom doors. It must be a French thing.
Our sangrias are not as good as we remembered but we realize that now you have to order (and pay extra) for the secret ingredient: Banyuls, a fortified wine from this region of France. Since Howard and Mark arrive a little later they get to learn from our mistake and enjoy a REAL sangria at Cafe Sola.
We use our “formula” to walk the Collioure virgins through the village and of course they are dazzled when we walk them out to the harbor area. As we walk around the water’s edge along the Chateau, I remember a restaurant that we have been to many times, Can Pla. The menu looks great and we’re in!
I’m pretty sure the man who serves was here the last time. The restaurant had just changed hands the last night we came. He asks me if we’ve been here before and I say several times but it was a long time ago. He says he remembers me! It must be my fine French that left an impression on him so many years ago.
The first courses are fish soup, a tasty plate of shrimp or a Catalan salad with anchovies, hard boiled eggs, olives and tomatoes. I think we all order fresh fish for our main course. The plate is filled with a perfectly cooked whole fish, great pan-fried potatoes and very tasty vegetables. The dessert choices include a colonel, apple tart and creme caramel. We really enjoy our lunch and I hope Howard and I can come back before we leave.
We do a little walking and shopping and before we leave we visit the wine shop.
On our way home we stop at a 15th century fortress, Chateau Salses. I am surprised that we can walk right up to it from the freeway rest stop. We spend a good bit of time walking around and taking photographs. We could take a tour but it’s getting late and we need to get back home to relieve Marie.
While we are gone Marie gives the dog food delivery people a piece of her mind and they get the food to us right away.