The last four weeks back in England have indeed flown by and although I am eagerly anticipating my upcoming semester in Salamanca, I am sad to say that my semester in Perpignan has come to an end. So here I have highlighted a few of the things I will miss from my time in Perpi.
1. Les montagnes (the montains)
The views of the Pyrenees never failed to take my breath away. As the colder weather crept in during December, the snow began to settle on the mountains which made it even more spectacular.
Always in the supermarket, patisserie or gift shop, the rousquille, a soft, crumbly wheel-shaped biscuit covered in icing is very paticular to the region and I will miss being able to buy a pack of these after a stressful day at uni.
3. Le bus à 1€
Throughout the Pyrénées-Orientales region, the ‘bus à 1€’ initiative allowes for extremely cheap travel to nearby towns and cities. I traveled to places such as Collioure, Banyuls-sur-mer and Salses this way. It was a great excuse to do a day trip as it didn’t cost more than 2€ to travel somewhere for the day.
4. Le français
This goes without saying. Four weeks back home and I already miss speaking French every day.
5. L’épicerie (the grocery shop)
During my time in France I frequented a local grocery shop where I bought all my fresh produce. The owners always recognised us, maybe because Kam and I were the only regular customers who were under the age of 50 and foreigners who intrigued them, but they always greeted me when I passed in the street and that felt nice. Also, the black grapes, raspberries and clementines from the region, vous me manquez déjà…
6. Le climat (the weather!)
Last but most importantly NOT least: the weather. How could I write a blog post about the best of Perpignan without talking about the weather? It’s the south of France, it’s near the beach, it hardly ever rains… what is not to love? Even during December on my final day, I remember walking around outside in the sunshine without a coat and it was glorious.
Since returning back to the UK, what I have struggled to adjust to the most is the lack of sunlight. Any hardy Northern spirit I had accumulated in the last 20 years has seriously deteriorated. My trip last week to Sheffield only confirmed this further. How I managed to live the last two winters in Yorkshire is beyond me because current me could not cope! Hidden behind what feels like constant cloud cover in the Merseyside region, I feel like I am already lacking in Vitamin D, my tan has degraded by 10 notches and I can barely manage to get out of bed before 10am; whereas I was always up by 8am in France, greeted to beautiful blue skies (99% of the time!).
So there we have it. I loved the four months I spent in Perpignan with the great people I met. If you ever see yourself visiting the south of France, don’t neglect the charm of Languedoc-Rousillon, and especially, the Pyrénées-Orientales! I’ll round this post off with a few picture highlights from my stay in France below