TRAVEL with pat and lew

at the topless beach

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 23, 2007

We walk the 5-6 minutes down the hill to the village and wander toward the beach, obvious Americans carrying two small beach chairs, an umbrella, and a tote bag with our books (always books). There are other umbrellas on the beach, but no other chairs.

We get ourselves settled, the umbrella providing 100% coverage against the midday sun. There are several small beaches in Collioure, some sand but mostly rocky. Our chairs are a necessity for us on the rocky beach we have chosen today.

While most women wear bathing suits, it is disconcerting to see the bare breasted, young and old, simply stroll by. One woman, topless on the beach, inexplicably pulls her suit top up to go in the water, then takes it off again as soon as she emerges.

A young girl joins her friend on a blanket a few feet from us, bares her top, and sits there chatting. She’s more than a little overweight.

Many people, men and women both, change their clothes on the beach. All their clothes. The technique is to wrap a towel from waist down, then pull the pants off and on under the towel. Everyone who does this is well practiced and discrete, and probably nobody but us pays any attention.

Perhaps this will soon become so routine for us as not to warrant mention.

Perhaps.

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