Another round of Banyuls

flowers 1There were too many photos to put into one post, so you’re stuck with Banyuls again. Hardship, right?

police stationThis time we’ll zoom in on a few charming details around the town. For example, how often does the word “adorable”  come up in connection with “police station”? And that scooter is cuteness itself.

Plus it had CLEAN public toilets on the other side! Four of them! With soap and everything!

The wise people of Banyuls knew to leave well enough alone in some cases….

old sign

while keeping most of the place spiffy. There was a lot of Belle Epoque architecture.

belle epoque house 2

building 2

building

belle epoque house

They had some interesting ideas about electricity, sometimes charming

electric box

sometimes not. I suppose it’s inevitable with stone walls.

electric wires

There were some cute vehicles.

But parking is difficult.

parked car 1
Better not forget the parking brake. (Do you see the van, up high?)

parking flood sign

This sign near the beach says: Attention drivers. In case of a storm, please URGENTLY evacuate your vehicle. The town cannot be held liable in any case.

Of course, steep hills + solid rock or buildings everywhere + sudden rain = flash flood. Get a load of these foundations:

The people of Banyuls like to decorate, whether it’s a rock outcropping, an electric meter cover or a paella pan.

paella painting

Mostly with good taste.

square
Nicely planted palms around a little bandstand and square.
olive tree
This olive tree must be a couple hundred years old.
street light
Wonderful street lamps. The wiring, not so much.

On the flatter, more spread-out end of town, the villas hid behind grand gates.

gate 5

gate 4

gate 3

gate 2

gate 1

More modest homes also had handsome entries, even if they seemed sized for third graders.

And they are crazy about flowers. Especially bougainvillea, in every neon shade.

flowers 7

flowers 2

flowers 3

flowers 4

flowers 5

flowers 6

flowers 8

flowers 10

flowers 9

flowers 13 cactus

flowers 12

flowers 11

There was another verbiose sign:

boules rules

“Thank you for your public-spiritedness”! These pétanque players seemed to be minding the rules.

boules

Must be rough playing right next to the beach, especially on hot summer nights.

wine shop 1

Banyuls is a highly recommended day trip from Carcassonne. And until you can come, you can pretend, by getting a bottle of Banyuls’ famous fortified wine (it’s like port, but DO NOT say that to anybody from Banyuls). Santé!

Banyuls-sur-Mer

little street 11
The renowned Banyuls vineyards in the distance are just as vertical.

We had a visitor for a few days and wanted to play tourist. We escaped the heavy rains that are flooding the north of France, but we still got some showers. It’s one thing to brave a few drops to visit something new, but another to see the same sites for the hundredth time, no matter how fabulous, when the weather is meh.

mairie
La mairie, or city hall, shows Spanish influences.

Our visitor hadn’t been to Banyuls, near the Spanish border, and it had been years since our last trip. One weather report suggested  scattered showers, while another promised peeks of sun. We ended up under mostly gray skies but dry. A perfect afternoon jaunt that felt like we’d gone on away on vacation.

restoThe weather held out for us to stroll around and have a leisurely lunch en terrace with a view of the beach.

view w beach
The rocky beach. Usually every centimeter is covered with bare skin.

As beautiful as Banyuls is I cannot imagine going there in July or August, when it’s absolutely overflowing with people. But on June 1, there were enough people for it to feel alive and yet for us to find ourselves alone on its charming, vertical streets.

port
A port, of course.

If I went nuts over a tiny village like Malves, imagine what I did with Banyuls. So today you get to see its charming streets, appreciate its beauty, and thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to carry your groceries home like the folks here. Though I bet all the residents are in great shape.

little street 15

little street 13little street 12little street 14little street 9little street 10little street 7little street 5little street 8little street 4little street 2little street 6little street 3

little street 1
The house on the right is for sale!!! View of the beach!!! No privacy though.
trop tard
This is what happens if you don’t buy that house right now: “Too late!”