Yesterday, we took our last excursion and visited the penultimate coastal town before the Spanish border: Banyuls-sur-Mèr.
This is the hometown of the famous sculptor Aristide Maillol and we, therefore, had to visit his museum which was 5 km out of town in a most peaceful little valley.
The tranquility is complete is the valley of Musée Aristide Maillol
The vineyards are all terraced on steep hill sides. The predominant grape here is Grenache.
Grenache grapes, at their very latest stage, give the wine a distinctly warm, raisiny taste as well as an exotically strange smell.
We followed in the footsteps of Aristide throughout the town and saw a lot of really beautiful alleys, pathways, stairs and streets.
 ... and ended up, as usual, in a café for some well-earned refreshments !


Les Grand Canalettes

Heading home from Collioure, we checked Saint Cyprian Plage which turned out to be a rather posh place mixed with anchovies and tunas.
After some late-night classical Russian music in Perpignan's spacy concert hall along the river Têt, we spent a lazy Saturday strolling around in the medieval town.
Sunday morning we were again in the 1€-train to Villefranche-de-Conflent but this time to visit the magnificent stalagmites and stalactites in Les Grand Canalettes. A superb experience – and we were almost alone in the vast caves.
At the surface again, we just sat, soaked in the warm October sun, and enjoyed the incredibly fine weather.



The southeasternmost corner of France hosts a few, pictoresque towns that were fishing villages decades ago. However, the anchovy fishermen are dead but scores of tourists are very much alive and present. –  Collioure is one of these sites. It is an ancient town and its setting is still stunning and worthwhile a visit.
The Collioure fortress is almost 1400 years old
The town was once a hotspot for painters belonging to the wild and untamed -ism called fauvism. All around on the streets, copies of the now famous canvasses are displayed.
Today, the nearby mountains have created an overwhelming cloudscape over our heads: Lenticular clouds of great dimensions, formed by very strong winds over the peaks. Weather at ground level has been windy too, but quite warm. Actually, Collioure was, today, the warmest place in all of France.



Today, we climbed over the mountains from the Céret valley to the valley of Marquixanes and Molitg-les-Bains. A serpentined road if there ever was any. 
One the way we paid a visit to the Priorie Notre Dame de la Serrabone, a 1000 years-old church on the famous pilgrim road towards St. Jacque de Compostella.
Once in the valley, we went and had a coffee in a local Café de France and watched the old men playing boule among the plane trees.
Platanerne var hule, bladene var gule, og mændene spillede boule
Later on we drove to Marquixanes to check out a house that would be an ideal place to stay during the early spring next year, ...
... a place with this magnificent view of one of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees: Mount Canigou.
We ended the day at a **** place, the Château de Riell, a most recommendable place in all aspects.
The most wonderful place to eat a splendid breakfast

Pyrénées Orientales

We are enjoying the warm fall in southernmost France in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A rented flat in Perpignan is our base and for two weeks we are exploring the amenities of this beautiful part of France.
Perpignan has a surprising number of cultural sights and activities to offer. Between 1200 and 1659 it was first the capital of the Kingdom of Mallorca, then later is was part of the Kingdom of Spain. It used to be an extremely well fortified border town and the main fortress is still standing, despite its 800 years.
We have been exploring the medieval sections of Perpignan with a multitude of very narrow alleys and smells of garlic, spices – and humans.
In a valley leading into the Pyrenees the town Céret offers an waterhole for artists and art buffs. Céret has an extraordinary Musée d'Art Moderne which is a must-see, especially if you (perhaps) like the productions of cubists and cubism.
Many paintings have been painted on location downtown Céret, so one can compare the real world with the one in the brains of the artist.
Villefranche-de-Conflent is another amazing border fortress with a complete village inside its very thick walls. An obvious ***** UNESCO World Heritage site!
We do our best to adopt to the relaxed French way-of-life. Most boulangeries and pâtisseries are visited and we enjoy spending time (window) shopping – and admiring very French cakes, very French cars and very French dogs.
Check the photo album at the upper right, – and stay tuned for blog updates ...