|Spooky driftwood head at Place de la Pelle, |
From the car park we followed the pedestrian route through a short tunnel to Paulilles entrance, turning right onto the Chemin du Fourat where the path splits into three. The chemin is a wide track with occasional traffic and we got a great view of a huge factory chimney - although it came out looking tiny on my phone camera!
|Sentier littoral signpost|
|Vogue by Claude Gomez|
Banyuls harbour front has a cute row of artisan shops and studios underneath the promenade. It is dominated by two large buildings, the first of which we passed was an odd pink structure that apparently houses oceanographic researchers and students. It's meant to look like a coral reef and the award-winning(!) design is by Atelier Fernandez and Serres. There's more information and photos on this architecture website, Inhabitat. The other large building is the far more stately Universite Pierre et Marie Curie. The oceanographic department is located here. As to be expected, Banyuls is a tad pricey and the front has many restaurants, several which were open. We chose a blue decorated Restaurant De La Plage and Dave treated us to a posh lunch for Christmas. He had entrecote steak and I had 'loup' which we established was fish, but weren't sure what sort until the waiter suggested 'dorade' as similar. We knew that is bream and, when it arrived, discovered loup is sea bass. It was very good!
Attempting our return walk after a good lunch was more demanding than anticipated although we completed the return leg in about the same time so weren't slowed unduly by all the food. Passing the Hotel de Ville, I saw this tile mural created by Eric Freixinos in August 1999. It depicts the GR10 walking route from Banyuls to Hendaye - some 900kms which is walked in, on average, 55 days. Perhaps that endeavour is best left until next year?!
|GR10 by Eric Freixinos|