Last Saturday I was house shopping for 2016-2017 at AirBnB online (again). We found a place in Perpignan that looked like it would be great, but I still wasn’t sure it was the best option so I was still searching. I found a small house with nice big yard for Sami and a three room loft. I put in an inquiry and almost immediately heard back. It was available for the entire year. So we decided we should go and check out town where this cute little cottage lives in St. Cyprien Plage.
The house is at the north end of the plage, but having never been there we weren’t sure exactly where to get off on the bus and decided that the second exit near the port seemed about right. Well wrong. As we walked to the center town we realized that the port has almost two kilometers of waterfront. Built in the 1960s as a way to encourage tourism, this harbor has dozens of turns and branches out much like a palm tree. It is the second largest pleasure port in France and the third largest in Europe.
Needless to say we were quite done looking at the houses at the harbor by the time we reached the central plage.
This was a Sunday and apparently market day in St. Cyprien. We normally would have spent an hour or so wandering through, but Sami was with us and she gets terrified in a large crowd. The best option was to sit and have lunch and wait for the crowds to thin out.
We found a Vietnamese restaurant and were so excited to see that they had Pho. One of our all time favorite things and we couldn’t get seated fast enough!
We ordered to bowls of Pho with pork and shrimp and a side order of the chilled spring rolls also with shrimp. It has been years since we have had Pho and every bite was a reminder of home. Amazing food. Kim Long’s Restaurant, if you’re in the area . . . definitely do not miss!!
After lunch we toured through the central plage area, taking in the nice wide sidewalks and bike lanes. This town is definitely dog and bike friendly. Argeles-sur-Mer is also very bike friendly, but only in sections does it have wide, shaded lanes for both pedestrians and cyclists. In St. Cyprien, every street we walk on had wide sidewalks, most of them shaded by big trees and with nice lighting as well for evening strolls.
My first impression was the harbor and while nice I had been thinking that maybe it was a mistake to be looking for a rental property in this city. By the time we made it to the central plage and found where people really hang out the city had a much better feel to it. North of the harbor is the more laid-back section of town. Not quite as northern California “beach bum chic” as Argeles — which my soul does back flips over — more like yuppie surfer-dude feel of say a southern California beach like Santa Monica. Minus the ferris wheel.
After spending the day and getting oriented a bit, we decided that we definitely wouldn’t mind spending a year, or two, in St. Cyprien.
We’re sure Sami would agree. Her most favorite thing in the whole world is to get sand in her paws!