October 23, 2022
Just over the Spanish border en route to Barcelona
Today we are driving to Barcelona from Avignon. We said good bye to Avignon this morning and to our apartment by the city wall.
My cousins Sidney and Sonya are driving. Sonya and I picked out Perpignan, just across the border from Spain as a halfway stop. It was once occupied by Romans as was most of Southern France. In the 1200’s, it became the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca when the King of Aragon took over the area. Today it is part of French Catalonia and signs were in French, Catalan and some in English and Spanish. The city is located between the Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.
Our first stop in Perpignan was the tourist information office, for maps and ideas for a quick visit. It happened to be located next to the Hotel de Ville ( Mayor’s office) a pretty building with a nice interior courtyard.
We first visited the Cathedral Saint Jean Baptiste. Its building was begun in 1324 by the Sanc de Mallorca, and finished in the 1500’s. It is a beautiful church.
Next we went to the Castillet which was once an ancient fortification but now is a tourist attraction (2 euros), with historical information and at the top of several stories of a circular staircase, a beautiful view of the city where we could see the church and Royal Palace of the Kings of Mallorca.
The streets of Perpignan in the old city were really pretty, many of course very narrow, and quite a few buildings had stone facades.
Our last stop was the outside of the Royal Palace, which unfortunately was closed for four days (normally it’s open daily).
Tomorrow we are going into Barcelona.