Travel at a slow pace in the border town of Perpignan

Have you ever heard of the French town of Perpignan?  Well, I haven’t.  When the lady I took French conversation from mentioned it in one of our Friday afternoon sessions I was intrigued.  She even suggested that I go there if I’m in the area.  So that I did.  En route from Barcelona to Provence, I spent a day and two nights in Perpignan.

My French tutor is a wonderful Swiss lady that backpacked her way through Europe many, many years ago before marrying and moving to South Africa.  I did some reading on Perpignan and found it to be a border town (France/Spain border) with its roots still Catalan.  After four packed days in Barcelona and getting on the wrong train due to a ticket agent at a Barcelona train station blatantly refusing to speak English and selling me the wrong ticket, I arrived in the dark at this Catalonian town, not sure what to expect.

Come morning, I was pleasantly surprised.  Perpignan was pink.  The streets were cleaned early morning and the surrounding red brick buildings gave off a pink color, to my delight.

Sleepy streets in the morning
Sleepy streets in the morning

I explored on foot and without a map to see what I can discover.  First the local market where bread, jambon and cheese was the order of the day on a bench along the Promenade des Platanes.

Picnic with offerings from the market
Picnic with offerings from the market
Morning farmers market
Morning farmers market
Strolling down the Promenade des Platanes
Strolling down the Promenade des Platanes
Fountains on the Promenade
Fountains on the Promenade

I dwindled further along the River Têt and spotted some more pink buildings and Perpignan’s famous landmark, the Castillet.

Castillet
Castillet in ‘pink’
Pink walls with green shutters
Pink walls with green shutters
Perpignan4
Stroll along the river

A pretty pink dress was tempting me while window shopping but I decided to follow the flags to the cathedral instead.

Shop windows
Shop windows
Streets and flags of Perpignan
Streets and flags of Perpignan
Cathedral clock
Cathedral clock

Then on to an early dinner that consisted of one of the best mussel pots I’ve had in France.  I have an extreme obsession with the French bistro style moules et frites and I absolutely have to try it in every French city I visit.  Maybe the wine and relaxing atmosphere of the restaurant made the mussels taste better.  Or maybe it was just me finding myself living in the moment again and appreciating the small things in life in the town of Perpignan.

Late bistro lunch
Late bistro lunch
The french mussel pot!
The french mussel pot!

This post is part of the #AllAboutFrance linkup 🙂

Lou Messugo
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10 thoughts on “Travel at a slow pace in the border town of Perpignan

  1. Years and years since I visited Perpignan and then I didn’t see much of the town/city. I think we just used it as a stopping off stop on the way to Spain, an overnight stop with just a quick look around the next morning. Why were we always in such a hurry, I wonder. Nowadays I take my time wherever I find myself.

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    1. It was my stop between Spain and France too, but I’m glad I took the time to have a look around, drink the local wine and eat 🙂 Especially after Barcelona it was a day well spent. Thanks for reading!

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  2. I have heard of Perpignan but it would be rather surprising if I hadn’t as I live in the south of France. However, I’ve never actually visited, just driven past, on my way to Barcelona! There are just so many wonderful places to visit in France alone, never mind the rest of the world that there really never is enough time to do everything, see everywhere….but I’m working on it and will get there one day. Thanks for linking your visit to #AllAboutFrance

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