Saturday, November 13, 2010

Collioure....the City of Painters

"In France there is no sky as blue as the one in Collioure...I just have to close the shutters of my room and I have all the colors of the Mediterranean before me." --- HENRI MATISSE

 While on a vacation in the south of France, Collouire was very much part of our visit. It is a beautiful Catalan harbor facing the Mediterranean sea. A picturesque town where impressionists painters like Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Dufy, Chagall, Marquet, have found inspiration. Henry Matisse lived here for many years and donated many of his paintings in a hotel where he stayed. There are numerous galleries scattered around this small harbor and visits are always a visual delight.
Collouire is Catalan country situated in the Languedoc-Roussilon region by the Pyrenees mountains. The French finally won against the Spaniards and Collouire is now a part of France. It is a very old town with many fortresses and Dominican and Benedictine churches.Vineyards are a common sight in Rousillon and fruits like peaches, plums and nectarines are harvested in the summer.

Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Fatima

Outside the churches and fortresses and after our visits inside the fabulous museums, strolling along the narrow streets and walkways is what we call retail therapy. We especially enjoyed their local fruits and vegetables, paintings, a "must-have" Catalan espadrilles and hand-made products. Never a boring moment. For dinner, you can choose from an array of restaurants. Food is savory and delectable but that's a whole new blog.

artists from all over the globe find inspiration in this charming town

their local fresh anchovies
 Shopping in Collouire is therapy. Boutiques line up the narrow walkways and restaurants are spread around. There is not a boring moment.

they are famous for their hand-made Catalan espadrilles. A must-have.

A festival was first celebrated in the year 1701, on the day when the relics of St. Vincent, the patron saint of Collioure, were returned to the village.The much-awaited celebrations start on the 14th of August and ends on the 18th. The fabulous fireworks display is on the 16th, a celebration of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother.

Every year on Aug 16, Collouire celebrates the assumption of our Blessed Mother with a display of spectacular fireworks. I videotaped the extraordinary spectacle to share to my friends. C'est magnifique.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Salvador Dali Theatre-Museum

About his usual residence, Dalí use to say: 
"Portlligat is the place of production.
 It is the perfect place for my work. 
Everything conspires so that it is thus:
 time passes more slowly and each hour has its exact dimension. 
There is a geological calm: it is a unique planetary case".
Dali described it “like a true biological structure. 
Each new pulse in our life has its own new cell, a room”.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I came this close to God.

I was walking the cobbled street of Köln, Germany  with my girlfriend when I looked over my shoulder, the sight of the Dome blew me away. I was close to tears and almost fell on my knees, it took my breath away. I felt tiny next to this 600 year old masterpiece towering before me, it looked like it was touching the heavens.