Eighteen degrees and cloudless today. Now, that’s more like it – I almost took my coat off! There are still a few unyielding icebergs around the place, though. One of them, a giant, is actually taking up an entire precious parking space. I’m surprised no-one has taken a blow torch to it.
It’s still kind of strange wandering around the almost-empty town. Rows of colourful, if somewhat higgledy piggledy, houses climb the cobbled streets all shuttered-up, waiting for the summer throng to throw them open and adorn them with flowers. It’s hard to believe that the full-time, indigenous population of Collioure is a mere 2,993 people. And yet there are enough houses here for at least 5 – 10 times that number. It seems such a shame that they spend so much of the year unoccupied. Many of them are owned by French people who come to the coast for their holidays, while the rest are owned by quite a mixture of nationalities – and, yes, Ireland is well represented.
House prices in this area tend to be very high compared to other places along the coast, but rents during the summer are guaranteed and far from modest so nobody is losing out except the visiting tourists.