All posts tagged: Perpignan

Along the coast

At the other side of the Pyrenees

The sun shines brightly and bathes small coastal towns, the mountain range Serra de l’Albera, picturesque bays, rough rocks, traditional fishing villages and narrow streets in a golden light. Perfect conditions for our trip on a sunny day in spring.

From Perpignan towards the Pyrenees

We start our journey in Perpignan and travel back to Spain along the French Mediterranean coast. Passing salt lakes south-east of Perpignan, very popular for surfing, we get to Argelès-sur-Mer. This seaside resort connects in a way the Pyrenees with the Mediterranean Sea and impresses with its small alleys and fine sandy beaches. However, we don’t stay long and follow the street along the coast, covered with hundreds of blossoming lavender and broom plants.

Coloured plants decorate along the coast.

Beautiful plants seam the coastline.

Picturesque fishing villages and unspoiled bays

Our way southwards leads us to Collioure, an old fishing village, which attracts lots of different artists. Again and again we see their framed motifs. At the promenade, a frame shows, for example, the ancient fortified church, captured by Henri Matisse. We make a small break and take in the splendid colours and the hustle and bustle in the bay. Then we leave Collioure and its colourful alleys and soon afterwards enjoy the peace in one of the secluded and delightful bays of Port Vendres.

Fortified church in Collioure

The bay of Collioure invites coffee lovers, sun worshippers and wind surfers.

Great view of the coast

Passing Banyuls-sur-Mer, famous for its sweet wine, we finally get to the Cap Rederis. From there you have a beautiful view of the coastal landscape: from the Cap Béar to the Spanish Cap de Creus, you can enjoy a stunning panorama, framed by various illuminated flowers. Down at the water, waves with sea spray break against the rough rocks of the steep coast and through the clear, turquoise water beyond you can see to the ground.

Looking down to the seabed

Through the clear water you can see down to the bottom of the sea.

A trip full of impressions

Wonderful strong colours and idyllic small bays. Traditional fishing villages and abandoned streets along the steep coast. Clear water in all possible shades of blue and great views over the entire coast. All these impressions make a trip along the southern part of the French Mediterranean coast totally worth it.

Bonjour Perpignan – “The Centre of the World”

Standing in the station concourse of Perpignan in 1963, the man with his twirled mustache knocked onto the floor with his crutch several times, caught up in a hallucinatory inspiration and calling out theatrically: “C’est le centre du monde!“ – This is the centre of the world.

As the master of surrealism Salvador Dalí had already seen great potential of the city and his monumental painting “La Gare de Perpignan“ is considered to be an autobiography of the paintor, we also wanted to form an opinion about this important city in the midst of the French Roussillon.

Perpignan-Merry-go-round

A beautiful coastal highway let us along the picutresque Spanish villages Llança, Colera, and Portbou to Perpignan, located 30 km away from the Spanish border.

Via-Perpignan-Marry-TJ

We arrived at the city, being illusionary immersed into the beauty of the mountains and the vastness of the sea, and located only a few kilometres beyond the Costa Brava. 
Perpignan is a lively, historic city, marvellously situated between the Pyrenees on one side and the sea on the other side, and is tempting with French charme.

Fascinated, we were strolling along the small alleys of the old town. Paved streets were awe-inspiring, bright façades were shining, painted in pastels, and buildings were inspired by the Gothic style. They all reminded of the time when Perpignan had been known for being the capital of the kingdom of Mallorca.

Perpignan-wall-of-building

The completely renewed Castle of the Kings as well as the cathedral Cloître Du Cimetière St. Jean are worth a visit and above the landmark of the city Le Castillet the Catalan flag is fluttering. 
Due to the proximity to Spain and also its history, the city in the north of Catalonia not only proves itself with French architecture and all sorts of local delicacies but also attracts many people every year with ist Catalan fair and lightness to come to Perpignan.

We were making our way along the small boutiques and beautiful places, exploring those mysterious little courtyards with all its cafés and restaurants which offered a perfect place to rest.

Perpignan-Flower-Shop

This day, Perpignan did full justice to its reputation as one of the most sun ripened and hottest cities of France and so we didn’t want to miss the chance to search for cooling in the French department store called Lafayette and to finish the day off with an inspiring shopping tour.

Perpignan-Roses

In how far Dalí’s visionary opinion about “The Centre of the World“, which is written in capital letters onto the central station of Perpignan, can be shared among the people is left to themselves. 
Nevertheless, at this point it might be a good idea to think of the words that a Spanish artist spoke benevolently:

„If there was only one truth, one wouldn’t be able to draw houndreds of paintings about the same topic.“

Pablo Picasso.