A-Z Archive: P Challenge

From My Archive I Choose…

P is for Perpignan Station (Gare de Perpignan)

Perpignan Station
Why, you may ask?

…Because Salvador Dali declared Perpignan Station to be the Centre of the Universe, and who am I to argue with the great man whose tortured clocks gave visual expression to the gravitational distortion of space-time!

Talgo Express
The Catalan-Talgo providing a link through Dali’s Catalan homeland between Barcelona and Montpellier. Behind the train, the new station offices nearing completion in 2010, bring a rainbow of colours to the heat of a Catalan summer. I wonder if Dali would have approved?

Perpignan Station Trainshed
Inside the trainshed of Perpignan Station, passengers mill around. Dali reputedly had many of his greatest artistic inspirations sitting in the waiting room here. If he was right and Perpignan Station is the Centre of the Universe then one presumes that the lady is asking the station manager in which direction South lays – “Oui Madame, c’est cette voie”

A riot of colour at the south end of Perpignan station with a Train à Grande Vitesse standing in front of the new Station buildings.

Chef de Gare
Overseeing the timely departures beneath the trainshed, Perpignan’s Chef de Gare waits for the signal to give the right-away for a local service along the coast. A day out for us to the nearby port of Collioure – will have to find another challenge for those photos!

With the best will in the world, every railway has the occasional glitch. This empty stock working has just arrived late from the carriage sidings and is a single unit. Presumably it should have been formed of two units for, by the time it left, it was standing room only. I can almost hear the conversation…”Seulement trois entraîneurs aujourd’hui Jacques?” “Oui, L’autre train a échoué”

Crime D'Amour
So, was Dali right? Is Perpignan Station the Centre of the Universe? Or was his belief an infatuation… A Crime D’Amour?

why not have a go at the A-Z Archive Challenge too?


  1. The dear Snickef —
    Really colorful here, even more so than in the rest of France. Has to be the Catalan influence.
    For a Centre of the Universe, Perpignan Station is quite nice looking. Anyway, who are we mere mortals to argue with Dali???

    1. Hi Judith – yes a very colorful SNCF. The red and yellow of the regional trains really glows in the strong sunlight 🙂

      As for Dali – a genius 🙂

    1. LoL – I shall set up a cult immediately… How many sacrifices would your High-Priestess-ness like 😉

      Thanks for poppin in Nancy – glad you liked it 🙂 ps, my personal favourite is the guys shaking hands – interaction between people going about their daily work is something I like to catch. It’s an expression of comradeship in the workplace that I know very well from my time with BT.

      1. No sacrifices (or applause) necessary . . . just throw CHOCOLATE (to me, not randomly)! 😆

        Yes! The handshake is excellent evidence of comradeship.

  2. What a lovely old building. It reminds me of the Post Office in my home town of Queenstown on the West Coast of Tasmania. The SNCF train looks like the front of a fighter plane. I am way behind in my blog reading so please forgive me for not going back through you older posts. Madly trying to catch up with everyone.

  3. Wonderful photographs. But your trains are completely different from what we see in this part of world. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures. Great post. 🙂

  4. Hahaha… it’s like the old joke…
    What time is it when Salvador Dali paints your clock?!
    *time to get a new clock*
    Love all of these, Martin! And the pop with the selective color in your last piece?! WOWZA! ELECTRIC!

  5. They’re all great captures, but I like the photo of Perpignan’s Chef de Gare. He looks like a typical supervisor… one hand on his hip, the other hand holding what looks like a walkie-talkie and severely squinted eyes. The last photo is stunning… beautiful artistry Martin!

    1. Hi Theresa – Thank you. I was lucky that he was standing where he was and the background allowed him to stand out. I was pleased with the last one – converting the incredibly blue sky to B&W gives a sense of foreboding to the image – in keeping perhaps with the film title? 🙂

  6. Lovely collection of photographs, and what a great P interpretation. While I loved everything, the last photo is my favorite. I am always fascinated by the mix of black and white and colored image. Great work!

  7. little boys dream trains and a station great images i have them all in my head as a little girl standing at grandmas window about hundred yards from the steam trains going past at darlington station xjen

    1. Hi Jen – hope you are well. Great to hear your memories of Darlington station – I bet the weather wasn’t like this too often though 😉

  8. Great entry and photos of this station! I like your reference to Dali. I am also a fan of some of his work, including the melting, or “tortured” clocks.

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