I noticed Cosprons on the map as we drove over the hill from Collioure to Port Vendres. The staff in the Tourist Office told us it was worth a detour to see the early mediaeval chapel which contains a rare wood cruxifix dating from the 13th C.
So on our return journey we turned off the coast road overlooking the Bay of Paulilles. At first the road did not seem to be taking us anywhere but after turning many bends we came to the entrance to the village..
Many of the houses looked quite new. All were immaculately kept and flowers were to be seen everywhere but little sign of any occupants .
The older cottages were exceptionally pretty but I refrained from taking photographs when I saw a lace curtain flutter and then old lady , all in black, appeared from the front door.
So we went on up to the Chapel only to find it firmly closed. There were no signs or notice boards with details of services or other opening times. The tourist office had mentioned that special services and concerts are occasionall held there
Our little cottage in Collioure was just round the corner from a small Square painted by the Glaswegian architect, designer and painter, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, titled A Southern Town.
It was in Collioure he fell in love with the area and spent the winter of 1925/26 there. The following year he and his wife failed to obtain lodgings so went to Port-Vendres and for several years spent many happy and artistically productive years there.
He was a very heavy smoker and had suffered ill-health for years with many chest problems.
Eventually he had cancer of the tongue for which he returned to London for surgery. he died shortly after at the early age of 60.
There is now in Port- Vendres a society affiliated to the Scottish CRM Society -
It is the intention of the group to establish a permanent exhibition centre in the town. In the meantime temporary events are arranged and we were fortunate to be there on the day one of these took place.
In addition to an interesting collection of posters, reproductions etc a very good Documentary film was shown about Mackintosh's life
The Tourist Office (extremely helpful staff) have details of the CRM Trail - Le Chemin de Mackintosh where the locations of his local paintings can be seenIt make s a very interesting walk around the town.
Three of his works are featured on the artists trail in Collioure.
Port-Vendres has a palm-lined fishing and yachting harbour open all year round surrounded by shops, cafes and seafood restaurants
Visit the Tourist Office.
You can't really miss it as it is so close to the main Harbour car park.
When we arrived and parked our car in the free harbour carpark, we crossed the road to have a coffee - the Tourist Office was almost " next door".
You will find there a wealth of information not only about Port Vendres, but also on many other local and nearby visitor attractions. And very helpful staff.
It was here we learned about the Charles Rennei McKintosh link with Port Vendrers.
Office de Tourisme de Port-Vendres -
1, Quai François Joly
Tél. 04 68 82 07 54