The hotel staff had told Richard that it was a 10 minute stroll to the old town of Perpignan so off we toddled. It took us at least 20 minutes to walk the mile, mainly as the pavements are cobbled.
We stopped and had a coffee (€3.50 each!) opposite the Palais de Justice where armed police were standing. There must have been 12+ of them – some armed and some not. I’ve tried to find out, via the internet, what was going on, but I’ve had no luck.
We walked down to the Castillet - a fortification and city entrance for Perpignan which was built in the 14th century. The Castillet was made up of three parts, the big Castillet, the small Castillet (former city gate), and a polygonal bastion. The bastion was destroyed in the early 20th century, but the big and small Castillet were saved from demolition. The walls surrounding the town, which had been designed by Vauban, were razed to the ground in 1904 to accommodate urban development. The Castillet had also been used as a prison until the end of the 19th century.
Most of the old town is pedestrianised now and there are some very nice buildings, but I think we have been spoilt over the last few days! We found ourselves in the Place de la Republique, which again was rather disappointing.
We decided to walk to the Palais des Rois de Majorque (Palace of the Kings of Majorca) which was a good 10 minute walk over cobbles. By the time we got there my feet were hurting and Richard’s knees were almost giving out! It was then that we saw that dreaded sign – NO DOGS! We really should have thought about it beforehand ☹ So now what? Lunch? But that meant another walk but off we went and found a row of restaurants overlooking the River Basse on Quai Sebastien Vauban. We didn’t know which one to choose but one seemed to catch my eye so we sat down. The waiter came out and was so nice to us, we would speak to him in our schoolgirl/boy French and he would answer in English. We had a lovely burger each and Muffin had a large bowl of water. Guess what the restaurant was called?? Brasserie le Vauban – what else!
Lunch was followed by a lovely ice cream at an ice cream parlour before walking, what must have been much more than a mile, back to the hotel! Once back I collapsed onto the bed and Richard onto the sofa – our respective joints aching like mad!!!