Our Blog - Perpignan

On the way back from Carcassonne to Montpellier, we decided to take a side-trip down towards Spain to Perpignan. The travel book talks about this town as being one of the closest things to "Spanish" as you can get in France. It used to be part of Majorca and then under Spanish control until the Treaty of the Pyrenees brought it under French rule. I thought it was interesting driving down the Autoroute towards Perpignan that the signs that warned of "high winds" were in 4 languages: French, English, German, and Spanish.

On the way to Perpignan, you can see the mountains, and on this day, they were still quite snow-capped.

The Cathedrale St. Jean dates from the 14th century. Tom said the sign outside said "no photo's", but I didn't see it so we have photos :-)

The outside of the church.

The Hotel de Ville, or city hall, has a very mediterranean look to it, the windows almost having a Spanish feel.

The Castillet is one of the major sites in Perpignan and now houses a museum (which we didn't go in). Built in the 14th century as both a gateway and fortress, and the one "porte" that was still there said "Porte Notre Dame" and I assume was one of the gates into the city.

Palais des Rois de Majorque, or the Palace of the Kings of Majorca. We walked a bit to get to this, and it was not open (go figure, a historical sight only open Saturday and Sunday). It is MASSIVE to say the least .. if you look REALLY closely, that little tiny white dot in the middle of the picture is Susan standing in front of the door, to give an idea of the size. It is interesting to see a plan of the city which shows the building (at the Castillet) to see what it really looks like, which is the fortress "star" shape .. all we really saw were these 40 foot high walls. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The Castillet again

We decided to take a detour on the way back to the Mediterranean, which you can see in this picture. It was very very very windy that day, almost blew us over and when we got near the water, we felt like we were being sand-blasted. The driving was tough, but standing there right at the edge, it was impressive how hard it was blowing. As we drove up the road, a "pond" or lake on one side and the Mediterranean on the other, the wind was blowing so hard that the waves from the lake were coming up over the bank and hitting the cars as we drove through. Later, we heard on the news about the actual damage in Nice and Cannes of the storm and winds. The Promenade de Anglais, the main street through Nice at the water's edge was under water, and the restaurants and stores along the waterfront were damaged or destroyed. The waves in Nice reached 6 meters in height according to the local paper here.