Today the wind arrived. Flags stood starch straight, trees bent, and the skies cleared. The wind was coming from the west, so it came right out of the Pyrenees and out to sea. After going to the public market this morning (disappointing because our favorite vendors weren’t there) we decided to visit Paulilles.
Paulilles is the former site of an Alfred Nobel dynamite factory built by Paul Francoise Barbe, an associate of Nobel. The plant operated from 1870 to the 1980’s. After closure it was set aside as a protected area to keep it from being developed as real estate. In 2005 the decision was made to raze 70 buildings, renovate 9 buildings, and turn the site into a free ecological and recreational park. Many picturesque artifacts of dynamite production remain.
However, this is now an ecological and recreational site. The varied trees and plants combine with the sea to create a beautiful park.
In addition to all that three buildings have been set aside for a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the art of Catalan boat building. They build and restore traditional Catalan fishing boats. The organization employs two full time boat builders and volunteers.
If you visit the Catalan coast, we highly recommend a stop at this park between Port Vendres and Banyuls-sur-Mer. Despite the fact that the clouds moved in we stayed for three hours to soak up the beauty.