In Southern France lies a town named Collioure, a commune where Catalan culture is dominant and where red rosé, white wine, and anchovies are local specialities. The area was also a centre and meeting place for Fauve artists from early 20th century, such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque. However, the experience of Lomographer Christelle Camus-Bouclainville a.k.a. @christellec has more in store for us about the little town more than history can ever speak of. In her own words and analogue shots with the Lomography Color Negative 400 35 mm, she revisits her weekend getaway in Collioure.
In early June of this year, my husband and I spent a weekend around Collioure, a small and lovely city in the south of Perpignan and a few kilometres from Spain. We arrived on Friday evening in Argelès-sur-Mer, where we were staying. with time enough to have dinner outside a small restaurant and take a walk on the beach by night.
Saturday was dedicated to Collioure. Since parking there can be a nightmare, in the morning we left our car in Argelès harbour, where we watched Barques Catalanes (a lateen sailboat) assemble for a race, all crews laughing together before boarding. Then we took a boat from one of the many companies doing the shuttle between Argelès, Collioure, and Port-Vendres every weekend, to reach Collioure.
There, we got lost in the small streets of Collioure. Le Quartier du Mouré, as is named the ancient fishermen’s quarter, is really beautiful, but some of its streets are quite steep! Lots of tourists around on this particular weekend, but everyone, locals and tourists, seemed to get along fine. We had nice talks with people there, always happy to share their enthusiasm for their products. We then sat at a café on the beach, watching people sunbathe or even try the still-cold water of the Mediterranean Sea.
At lunch, we had freshly cooked fish in one of the many fish restaurants near the shore, and then went at Maison Roque to buy some anchovies (salted or marinated in vinegar), which are among Collioure’s specialities. We then decided to save the visits to the Royal Castle or the Modern Art Museum for another trip, and I left my husband at a café with postcards to write and walked along the bay from one beach to the other, camera at the ready.
The best spots for photos – on the jetty near the lighthouse, on the shore or opposite the church Notre-Dame des Anges, for example – are marked by frame-shaped metal sculptures, widely used by the tourists, but it is always nice to think outside the box or out of the frame, in that case!.
What comes back to my mind when I think about this day is “colours”! Colors of the boats, be it the old lateen sailboats, the to-rent plastic canoes, or our bright-red shuttle boat called Barracuda, colors of the walls in the ancient fishermen’s quarter – where the streets go up and down – colours of the bougainvilleas and oleanders in each and every street, and of course, colors of the sea!
Then another shuttle boat took us back to Argelès for the night. On Sunday, we spent the morning in the bigger city of Port-Vendres, walking along the harbour, watching boats, and a fisherman mending his nets kindly agreed when I asked if I could photograph him. Then we ate wonderful fresh fish at the restaurant Chez Pujol, talked about local wines with the waiter, before driving back home.
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