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Published: September 12th 2017
Didn’t rush to start our day as still waiting for the Ensoleillé we had been promised but which until almost noon was more likeÉclaircies and accompanied by a pretty wild wind up there scudding the clouds around to block the sun.
Kisbee was ready so we set off to Perpignan with a plan to avoid the dual carriageway we came in on and to use a quieter road. We ended up following a cycle route which took us what seemed to be a long way round, along a lot of vineyards and eventually into Perpignan centre.
At which point all sensible road directions vanished. We missed a right turn signposted to the centre and ended up in a slow crawl of traffic, no idea which direction we were heading as signs useless. Eventually took a turn to the right and rode along a not very pleasant set of backstreets until thankfully we came out into a more civilised central area by a little river. Not impressed so far.
Obtained a little map from the tourist office and set off for the 14th
century Cathedral. This has a wonderfully decorated interior. It’s quite dark but there are
some superb wood carvings and all the walls are heavily and decoratively painted. Rather lovely.
From there we went off to find the 13th
century, now restored, Palais des Rois de Majorque. Not a terribly salubrious route to get there and as Bob commented it was a funny place to build such an enormous place so close to all the schools (that was a joke of course !). Very impressive heavily fortified Vauban castle and from its higher levels there were excellent views across Perpignan rooftops to the Pyrenees.
The view was much improved by the most welcome arrival of the Sun.
Was hopeful of a drink but no café on site so had to walk back to the centre. Found some of the narrow streets right up to the edge of the historical centre quite intimidating with, in a couple of places, hooded youths hanging about on both sides and also in the centre of the street. I know when I don’t feel safe as I find myself moving phone from back pocket to bottom of bag and holding camera with both hands. And I did several times.
We found a café and had lunch
sitting in lovely full sun but behind a rather necessary screen as the wind was aggravatingly strong. Then along to visit a couple more places including the beautifully just restored Eglise Saint-Matthieu. Back along the river, a far more pleasant area than others we had walked, an icecream and back to Kisbee.
We agreed that Perpignan was one of the least pleasant French cities we have visited and returned to the campsite for a lounge in the sun, in my case by the pool before a swim.
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