Our first weeks in Perpignan have been very eventful. We found a new school to take French conversation classes, found the local markets and bio food shops, as well as a couple cafés with wifi where we can try to stay connected with the rest of the world. We were also fortunate enough to be joined by 3 guests and venture out of town for a weekend in Spain. It was a lot of fun getting to share Perpignan with our nouvels amis Agnes and Christoff, and then it was off to Barcelona to meet up with a vieil ami from Chicago, Darin.
We showed Agnes and Christoff around the environs de Perpignan by driving to the sea and through the mountains. Despite the clouds, the picturesque landscapes were a nice contrast to what they were used to in Paris.
We stopped in Banyuls-sur-Mer to enjoy some time by the sea. It was fun to learn that 'les pierres à sauter' is a pasttime enjoyed in many countries.
Mel decided it was time to get her first dip in the sea… The dip turned out to be just for her toes since the water was un peu froid!
The trip wouldn't be complete without a stop at one of the local vignobles for a dégustation. Délicieux!
Our first stop after arriving in Barcelona was a café on the Ramblas to enjoy a cerveça and figure out what we wanted to see in our two days there. Marc and Darin worked hard to get our bearings while Mel sipped in the sunshine.
It is always advantageous to travel with an architect, but travelling with two meant a tour of all of the best buildings in town! Here is the spectacularly simple modernist temple Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Mies van der Rohe.
Marc ponders life aside this reflection pond. We couldn't help but think that this is what Mies intended… but he could have included a chair…
Barcelona is full of the amazing works of Gaudi. Still in progress, the Sagrada Familia looked magestic on this sunny afternoon with its towering steeples and tower cranes.
Gaudi also designed this curvy apartment structure, Casa Milà, that sticks out from the other buildings on the block. In contrast, it seems to fit perfectly with the trees that surround it, making it a memorable part of Barcelona's architecture.
It was fun to think back on the '92 Olympics while standing in the stadium. We thought about making Carl Lewis' victory lap, but unfortunately there was an event on the field that day. We are extra patriotic with the U.S. advancing to the next round of the World Cup. Allez l'États-Unis!
A stroll under another of Gaudi's masterpieces was irresistible to these two architects.
The climb to the top of Parque Güell was worth the sweat for the spectacular views like this one. Quel palmier!
A walk along the beach to finish the day was the perfect ending for cette visite. Adiós Barcelona!
Before Darin departed for Paris, we were able to show him around Perpignan a bit, which meant a trip to the center of the city and a stop on its oldest pont.
We hope that nos visiteurs had as much fun as we did and we look forward to making plus de visites to explore the Catalan countryside and other interesting sites in this region. Restez à l’écoute…