Monday, January 19, 2015

Steps of Life

Sunday evening, we walked about 60 steps from our front door to the church which defines the centre of centreville in Argeles-sur-mer. We were there to enjoy one of the monthly Les Musicales concerts sponsored by the village, this one featuring cellists from the region and an amazing soprano opera singer from Paris.

Two days earlier, we took 60 steps in the other direction to the Cinema Jaures, our one-screen theatre, which was holding an international film festival - including appearances by some of the film's directors. They've had winners of the Cannes Film Festival and others who have later gone on to acclaim.

In the summer, there's a huge music festival with big-name acts at the Valmy estate on the edge of town. This year's lineup includes Santana and Lenny Kravitz.
Opposite the entrance to the church, so about 50 steps from our home, is La Noisette, where on any given morning or afternoon we're likely to run into a couple or several of our friends, both permanent village residents and second-home residents from the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, etc. No need to request honey in my tea; they know us here.
On the same street and around the corner, they hold an open air market - a marche - on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Fresh, locally farmed meats and vegetables, hand-crafted jewelry, wonderful pastries under the British "brownie lady's" orange umbrella, flowers of every hue, reasonably priced clothing, even mattresses and blankets.
A bit further afield but still walkable - maybe 6000 steps - is Argeles Port, where you can take a diving or fishing excursion out on the Med. Or, as we do, relax in one of the many one-of-a-kind restaurants.
The main attraction for many, about a 15-20 minute walk from our Warren, is the marvelous Argeles Plage with the Pyrenees as a backdrop. Plenty of excellent restaurants there as well, and a lovely beachside promenade lined with palm trees.

Pretty amazing for a village of fewer than 10,000 regular residents, at least two hours from any major population centre.

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