The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm


October 17th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Posted in Travel

Finding lunch on a Sunday wasn't easy

 We spent a Sunday wandering around Perpignan, capitol of the so-called Pyrenees-Orientale with roots dating to pre-Roman times. But like most places in this part of France, commerce comes to a screeching halt on Sunday, as it does during the noon hour. At one point, having found that our credit card did not work at the automated filling stations, we were forced to beg gas from a Frenchman, who filled our tank with his card in exchange for cash.

Moral of the story: If you going to travel in France over the lunch hour or on Sunday, plan ahead.

Here, I ordered the assortment of fried seafood, served with a small bowl of ratatouille. My wife had an excellent cheese tart with baby artichokes, while Bob went for the salad.

Bob finds an English-speaking vendor

Our primary purpose for the visit to Perpignan was to search the giant flea market for one of the the “51” brand water carafes we had seen earlier while eating lunch at a tourist bistro. My wife took an instant liking to the architectural design of the bottle and was determined to find one for sale. We made a point to examine every vendor with glassware at the flea market, and although we saw some pastis carafes, none was the one we were looking for.

Bob, however, scored: He located a used auto parts dealer who just happened to have a replacement mirror for the one someone had taken from the side of his small truck, or camionette. From there, we walked into the center of Perpignan to gawk at what remains of the old city.

So typical of urban parks in France

You know you are in France when you step into an urban park lined with meticulously pruned plane trees. The play of light in the long, lush alleys is mesmerizing.

The lily pads were sculpted stainless steel

Then you come upon a pair of lovely fountains, which seem to be performing their water dance just for you.

Secret couryard with ancient well

Typical street scene in Perpignan

Perpignan's castillet, now a museum

Perpignan was once a walled city, but the walls were razed early in the 20th century to make way for urban development. The emblematic castillet, once a gateway dating to the 14th Century, now houses the museum for local Catalan folk culture.

Lunch is always al fresco

After much walking, we finally happened on this restaurant open for lunch. Even in October, shade in absolutely essential in the brilliant, Catalan sun.

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  • Magic Cochin

    Thank you for sharing your day in Perpignan – looks just perfect for mooching around nd having lunch.

    BTW if you go to Galicia remember they take a 3 to 4 hour lunch/siesta break when all the shops close and on holidays like 12 Oct Spanish National Day (= Columbus Day but they always take it on whatever day it falls) EVERYTHING is shut except for a handful of small cafés!!!