Thursday 20th November
First off, I forgot to give you a photo of yesterdays aire. About 20 pitches around a large rectangular field with palm trees along three sides and a fence between the aire and the motorhome storage area. All surrounded by high security fences and locked up at night. The accessory shop was open so we wandered in to look for a couple of bits. We’ve been to a few aires with the continental plug on the services so we bought the adaptor and I also got a twin socket so I can plug in even if someone else got there first.
Our plan was to get to Collioure (Number 33, Mediterranean) which is advertised as a park and ride car park with a shuttle bus into town and costing €10 per night including electric and services. Didn’t sound all that great but we had been told to go to Collioure so here is the view through Frankies front window. Not bad eh?
This is definitely not Chelmsford Park and Ride car park, this is on three levels high up in the hills with spectacular views. It is probably very busy in the summer with day visitors but there are just 10 or so motorhomes. No shuttle bus though, we had to walk into town. It’s not everyday you see cactus growing wild and grapefruit and lime trees in front gardens.
Collioure is a very popular destination because Matisse, Derain, Picasso and Braque were very frequent visors but judging some of their work that is displayed around the town they were more interested in the Lidl’s €2.19 red wine than painting. Above is the Chateau Royale, the summer residence of the Kings of Mallorca.
And the view from the other side. We sat and eat our lunch sitting on a long harbour wall with this as our view.
And this further to the left. Lookout posts can be seen on the top of all of the highest hills.
The medieval church tower of Notre Dame des Anges. The belltower was used as a lighthouse, unfortunately access to it was closed while we were there. We can only guess at how busy the place gets during the summer by looking at the number of bars and restaurants along the front, as you can see, we were very lucky in that there were very few people about. There were a couple of groups of school children being escorted into the Chateau which is now home to the French Commandos who often train in and around the harbour.
Not the sharpest of shots but because it was handheld for 1 second. When we first entered the church everything was lit up and the altarpiece looked stunning, all glittering gold. It was carved by Josep Sunyer.
Back at Frankie and the sky is getting darker but the view is still there.
Why such an expensive day? Well, as you may know I own a shop and currently it is empty but I still need to get buildings insurance. I’ve been in contact with a broker and there is only one insurer who will touch it because the shop itself is currently empty. For one year, £1600 but as soon as I get tenants in it will be £400 per year. Add to that the fact that I have told the local council that the shop is now empty. You’re meant to get three months rate free but because I could claim small business rates relief and now I can’t I get 1 months free and three months at triple the rate I was paying.
One bit of good news is that we have someone interested in renting the shop. It is an Estate Agents but they will need to do some building works to be able to present their business in the way they would like. That’s going to cost them £25k so they’ve asked for 6 months rent free. Fingers crossed we can manage until then.