TRAVEL with pat and lew

* visitors from the “new world”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 2, 2007

 Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Since we have company “from the new world” coming tomorrow, we go down to the village to make a reservation for dinner. I try my best to use only French, but don’t quite make it. Je voudrais faire un reservation pour quatre personnes pour se sois …..?

I don’t know the word for Wednesday. Pat points to the word in French (Mercredi ) and asks the waiter who is making the reservation, “How do you pronounce this word?”  He immediately answers … “Wed-nes-day.”

 Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Pat’s cousin Karen and her husband Joe are due on the 11:48 train from Cerbere, on their way from Barcelona. This is our first family visit, and only our second visitors from the “new world,” so we are quite excited. It being the 4th 0f July, Pat takes the American flag we purchased in Normandy (for this purpose) to the platform and stands ready to wave the colors.

But 11:48 comes and goes, and the only thing that arrives is the rain. We had left the cushions out on the terrace, and debate whether to run back upstairs (remember that our apartment is only 100 yards from the gare). We decide not to, and the drizzle subsides.

But still no train. The electronic announcement board now says 12:44 for the next train, skipping automatically to the next scheduled departure. We start a conversation with a couple from Australia who are on their way to Edinburgh for a wedding, and they worry if they’ll make their connection in Perpignan. Someone says they can make up time, and just then a passenger train speeds by without stopping. “Is that how they make up the time? Are our guests now on their way to Perpignan?

Pat goes into the station and reports back with the good news that the train from Cerbere is expected in 10 minutes. Lo and behold, in 10 minutes the train arrives, and Karen and Joe emerge onto the platform. They’re going to stay in our apartment while we are in Ireland, and have come a day early so we can visit before we leave.

The next several hours are a blizzard of family updates, a brief tour of our apartment (300 square feet doesn’t take long), a walk to the Madeloc Hotel so Joe and Karen can check in for the one night we will all be in Collioure. Their room is very nice, as is the hotel. We walk down the hill into the village for a first look around and lunch.

We’re thrilled that Joe and Karen seem to be as enamored with Collioure as we are.

Later, we have champagne on the terrace, and then dinner in the village, where our reservation for Wed-nes-day is in order. We have an excellent meal looking out over the beach and bay. After dinner we walk out toward the sea and the chapel on the rock, and are almost blown away by a sudden gust of wind.

We finish the day (for us) by introducing Collioure ice cream to our guests, and then head back up the hill. The next morning, we learn that Joe and Karen returned to the beach for another glass of wine, followed by a late night swim in the pool at their hotel.

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