Why on earth did we go to La Jonquera? Vanya had been told that the cheapest wine in France or Spain is to be bought at a retail outlet called La Jonquera on the Spanish-French Border where Spain’s Els Limits meets France’s Le Perthus. So off we set.
In reality Els Limits/Le Perthus is a shabby run down border town whose main claim to fame until recently was it’s roaring sex trade. Even though prostitution is legal in France, brothels are not and when the Paradise Club opened in 2010 (in Els Limits on the Spanish side of the border where brothels are legal) it’s 90+ rooms became quite a mecca for prostitutes and their clients (and it very much remains so today if the number of scantily clad girls hanging around the various lorry parks is anything to go by).
It seems the present mayor of Els Limits is trying to clean the place up (some hope) and a massive retail park has opened. Apparently it is the largest border outlet centre in Europe and if you are into last years labels and designer gear it is a must. For my part it is one of the shabbiest and seediest places I have ever been and it is to be avoided.