Le Bacares - Perpignan: More bike paths - France: Between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees - CycleBlaze

September 3, 2007

Le Bacares - Perpignan: More bike paths

We are not looking for bike paths, but there they are, they seem to find us, so we take them. This time we can get on the path that starts at the coast, actually at the campground, and follow the Agly River for a while until we turn south to get to the city of Perpignan. We enjoyed Narbonne and think it might be a good idea to do some more city sightseeing. A bike path, some small roads and we're there.

Bike path following the Agly River
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Perpignan has a Catalan flare, we sense that we are getting closer to Spain. We visit the enormous and imposing Palace of the Kings of Majorca and wander the small streets. It's a lovely city but it doesn't spark our enthusiasm as did Narbonne. Perhaps Perpignan is a city, like some people, that you have to know longer to appreciate. Or perhaps we didn't visit the right places.

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In Perpignan
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The Palace of the Kings of Majorca. So many steps
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I have since learned that the Perpignan train station is the center of the universe. It is said the Catalan surrealist artist Dalí got some of his best ideas there. He caused the Perpignan train station to be entered into the history of art by naming it the "center of the universe" after having experienced in the waiting room, in his own words, "a sort of cosmic ecstasy [stronger than all those I had had before. I experienced a precise vision of the construction of the universe]".

Salvador Dalí: Mystique de la Gare de Perpignan (1965)
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Had we only sat in the waiting room we might have got some good ideas, too. Instead we spent our time looking for Perpignan's campground, found it, decided we didn't like it and rode back into town and took a room in a hotel - next to the station.

Our hotel near the train station - a good idea
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