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We made a day trip to Perpignan, in the Département Pyrénées-Orientales, near the Spanish border.
It was a rather hot day with a brilliant blue sky and a radiant sun. When I think back – that’s what I remember … and of course a Mediterranean style city and their palms. All the streets, except in Old Town, are line with palms – at least it seems so for me. Nowhere before in Southern France I remember this continuous view!
The palms are in the modern part of the city as well as in the transition area to Old Town Perpignan. They seem the prefect companion for the rows of immaculate residential buildings with elaborate fronts and these nice tiny balconies and adorned iron gratings.
We made a coffee stop before approaching Old Town. It’s not so far from the train station, but it was hot even in the late morning.
We had made some plans what to see – and I admit that we finally in the early afternoon skipped out visit to the Royal Palace (a vast fortification that houses the palace of the Kings of Majorca in the 13th and 14th century when Perpignan was the capital of the Majorcan kingdom) … because of the heat.
After our late morning cafe we started with a tour of Old Town with its alleyways, lots of small shops and even far more small cafes, bistros, restaurants – in short: the whole range of French gastronomy. Old Town is fine: small streets, lots of shade, warm winds … We enjoyed our stroll!
Of course there are lots of landmarks like the Le Castillet, a remaining part of the fortification of the town, and La Porte Notre-Dame, which leads into Old Town. There is a cathedral, La Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste, with an adjoining cloister and its cemetery, Campo Santo – a quite vast area.
There is also the ancient centre of commerce with its symbolic ship and the iconic sculpture of Aristide Maillot in the courtyard of the town hall.
Then we decided to make our trip home and we approached the train station.
Good bye, Perpignan – we are sure we’ll come back … to visit the Royal Palace and more!