Fort Saint Elme

Well, time flies.  Who knew six months have gone by since our last post on our family circumnavigation of France?  Not that we have been lumps on logs since then- to the contrary: we returned home to a crazy summer in Colorado, did some renovations of the house, got a job, moved across the country, and are only now settling into our new sunny beach life on the Sun Coast.  More updates on all that soon, but for now, I’ve got a bunch of photos to add to the gallery of our latest European adventure, which I hope you’ll enjoy.  Jumping right back to where we left off…

Being a strategic port for centuries, Collioure has been protected by the ubiquitously visible Fort St. Elme for just as long.  The fort started off as a watchtower built by the occupying Berbers during the 8th century, was fortified extensively by subsequent rulers, was stormed by the real-life d’Artagnan and friends, and was last occupied by the Nazi Kriegsmarine during WWII.  

Being a sucker for castles on top of hills, I was eager to check it out.  There is a hiking path that leads up from the town which looked nice, but we wanted the boys to have some energy left for actually walking around the castle, so we opted to drive.  Unfortunately, we misjudged the opening by about an hour, so we hung out in the parking lot while the boys pushed toy cars around in the gravel, which led to Kacey’s phone falling out of her pocket without her noticing, which led to me driving over it when I re-parked the car.  Bummer. But, Fort Saint Elme made up for the misfortune- I thought it was pretty cool inside, with a bunch of old armor and weapons on display, and we all enjoyed the amazing views of the Languedoc coast, but the best part was that they had medieval costumes, complete with swords and shields, for the boys to wear as they explored the castle.  Oliver was having none of it, and Hadley only kept his on for a few minutes, they’re not really a costume guys, but I loved the idea- I think it was a great way to keep kids engaged while their parents dragged them around a boring museum.  In my opinion: something every boring museum should do.