Monday, November 7, 2011

Beautiful Perpignan

Perpignan city center.
  Usually I reserve Mondays for game recaps. Here's the shortest recap known to man: we lost by 40 points (ok, it was actually 38) on Saturday. I'll spare you (and me!) the ugly details, and leave it at that.

  So instead of recapping the game, I'll recap our road trip the south of France.

  I was a little unsure how this whole road trip was going to go. We were set to leave Thursday after practice, and drive through the night. That scared me. I don't know about you, but sleeping on a bus is not something I normally do. In fact, usually the only place I can sleep a wink, is in the comforts of my own bed. I was re-assured over and over again that this would be a 'sleeper' bus where you would be able to lay down. Still, I was a bit skeptical. 

My perspective on the glorious sleeper bus.

  I was prepped for the long ride: laptop, iPods, Android all charged to keep me entertained. Books to read, and paper to write on. I also came prepared to sleep: with a padded sleeping bag (thanks V!), pillows, and blankets. I got my spot on the bus, and settled in.

  Thankfully, no one had misled me about the bus. You could in fact lay down. The bus was like any other charter bus. But you were able to fold the chairs down, essentially making bunk-beds throughout the bus. I chose to be on a bottom bunk because I figured it'd be a little more stable, and darker than the top bunk would be.

View of the front of the bus. Top bunk.
  Once I got used to the shifting and movement of being on the road, I did actually fall asleep! Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't the greatest sleep I've ever had. But it was a great feeling to open my eyes, and have the morning light shining in (meaning I had slept through the night, and most of the long trip!).

  Our destination, Perpignan, is very close to the Spanish border. So that is exactly where my team wanted to head once we reached the south Friday afternoon. Why Spain, you ask??? Cheap(er) alcohol, cigarettes, candy, and chocolate. My best guess as to why it's cheaper in Spain: there are fewer taxes on those items versus in France.

Rows and rows of candy.

  After enjoying a tasty Spanish buffet for lunch, my teammates headed to the supermercado to find their bargains! I didn't want to lug anything back to Dunkerque (and nothing was really THAT enticing), so I can't say I bought anything myself. Though I have to say, there was some chocolate and candy that looked amazingly good
Rows and rows of alcohol.

  Once my team finished their shopping, our time in Figueres, Spain was up. The bus was finally headed in the direction of Perpignan! 16+ hours after leaving Dunkerque, we finally made it to our destination. We had the evening to do as we pleased until dinner (no practice), so I was excited to see a little of the city.

Entrance into the city center.
  A few teammates and I went into the city center to do some shopping, and see what Perpignan had to offer. I immediately loved what I saw. We were in France (obviously), but Perpignan also had a strong Spanish and Italian influence, which I thought was awesome. The wall surrounding the city center was something I loved to see (and reminded me of my first European city, Como), and gave the area a unique feel.

  My teammates and I sat outside at a cafe, where they ALL enjoyed a Coke, while I had an espresso...ha! We wanted to make the best of our limited time in the city, so we tried to get the lay of the land as we sat. Honestly, I just like to walk the cobblestone roads and get a feel for the city. I think that's the best way to see a new area, and the most-enjoyable way to spend a few free hours.

  A couple hours is hardly enough time to fully be able to appreciate a city (I haven't even mentioned the weather, and being so close to the Mediterranean!). But I saw just enough of Perpignan to know that if I ever got the chance to go back, I would.


  Even with the disaster on the court (our game), and the 30+ hours spent on the bus, I came back from Perpignan with a good feeling about the things I experienced over the weekend!

  ~ Sabrina

We got caught in the rain!!


  1. Would you explain more about a sleeper bus. I've never seen one of those.

  2. Thank you, Sabrina, for the new picture and explanation about a sleeper bus. Very cool. Wish we had had those when we used to take a bus to Salina to watch the Big 8 tournament.