I prised myself out of my cottage to spend a week in the middle of the more touristy part of town. When I originally booked the cottage, there was already a booking in for this particular week so I found a lovely studio apartment on the first floor of a traditional house owned by an artist. It’s a huge room with two sets of french windows leading out onto a long balcony overlooking the main square, and it bears the title ‘Bombay Studio’. Now, I hate to be duckist but, enough already!
Anyway, when not writing on the balcony, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time exploring the surrounding villages and even made a return trip to Céret. And I’m glad I did. There is so much more to this town than was evident on my first visit, when the clamour of carnival distracted from exploration. Picasso lived here at the beginning of the 20th century, as did Soutine, while Matisse and Modigliani were visitors. The Museum of Modern Art contains paintings, ceramics and sculptures by Picasso and also features paintings by Chagall, Matisse, Herbin and Soutine.
But it’s not just the evident artistic connections that make this town special. It’s the narrow streets of the old town and the beautiful, quiet squares bathed in coolness. The cherry season is just around the corner and with it will come the cherry festival, an occasion when cherry beer and a cherry stone spitting competition should add further colour to the environs.