Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My first two days


 It's still raining very heavily. Apparently there was no rain for months before I arrived and then it started! Yesterday I had lovely weather and then last night the storm really broke. But I'm still really enjoying it here and it's been sunny during the day.

 My last post took us up to Saturday night. On Sunday morning I lay in a bit after my long day of travelling. I then got up and had a breakfast of chocolate Clusters - they exist! Amazing! Basically they're like normal clusters except that the flakes are chocolate flavoured. Delicious.

 At midday I went to a crepe parlour with Nathalie (my go-to teacher) and a friend of hers who is also called Nathalie! I had a crepe with emmental and ham and then for dessert I had a crepe with Nutella. The Nutella crepe was lovely but the savoury one really stole the show. It was gorgeous.

 The rest of the day was spent quite peacefully; I was still recovering from my long journey here. Then, during the night, the storm began. I have never known rain like this! Yet it made me feel super-cosy tucked up in bed.

 Monday dawned and the rain cleared up. I went to the lycée (school for 14-18 year olds) where I will be teaching with Virginie, who is the head of English there. She introduced me to some of the teachers and staff and everyone was really nice and welcoming.

 I then sat in on one of her classes. I really enjoyed it - the students are polite and friendly and should be a pleasure to teach.

 After the class I caught a bus into the centre of Perpignan. I got off at a park that had a set of fountains which looked exciting.

 It turned out to be one of the coolest sets of fountains I've seen. Manchester Picadilly eat your heart out! As well as the jets of water alternating to form a display, there is a pathway through it so you can stand with water all around you.

 I walked through the park and to my joy came out at the other end on the edge of the Perpignan old town.

 I walked on a bit and then saw a welcome sight: the castle, It is one of the main emblems of Perpignan and it was great to know that I had made it into the old town.

 I walked through the archway, which is known as the Notre Dame Door, and on the other side there were several cafés. I sat down at one and enjoyed their menu:

 I ordered salted cod.

 The cod itself was very nice but I what I especially liked was the frothy stuff around it - it had a fruity taste to it that was really nice.

 The waitor asked if I wanted a dessert. I had been planning on asking for the menu back to study the desserts but found myself saying, "crème catalane!" So that was what I got. I was always going to order this iconic Catalan dish at some point but I suppose my subconscious couldn't wait any longer!

  It looks like crème brulée, I know, but it doesn't taste much like it. To me it tastes much lighter and fruitier - it contains vanilla and coconut - and less sickly sweet. It was wonderful.

Two Catalan icons together!

 I then wandered a bit. The heat we had had at midday had subsided somewhat and it was very pleasant.

Ugh, the current plague of the UK has made it to France... (Yes, electronic cigarettes are marginally healthier (supposedly) than regular cigarettes but people think they can smoke them anywhere and it's annoying!)

 I saw a nice-looking building ahead so decided to visit. It turned out to be the cathedral.

 I really liked the cathedral. After leaving it I drifted back to the bus stop.

 So, that was my first two full days in Perpignan! We had another terrible storm last night, but during the day it cleared up and I went out but more on that another time, this post is long enough already!

 Hope you're all well,

 Liz x

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