Today we headed towards the town of Figueres, the hometown of artist Salvador Dalí. In town is the home he built and where he died and is buried underneath the stage area of the old theatre that was converted into the museum house.
I was pretty excited about this. This is the largest collection of Dalí works anywhere in the world, the second largest being in St. Petersburg, Florida and I’ve been 3 different times- twice in the old museum and once in the new massive museum there. This was a pilgrimage of sorts for me. ha
I love Dalí’s art. I get it. I don’t really “get” a lot of modern art. I can’t really tell you much about Picasso’s Blue period…or why Jackson Pollack paintings are worth millions when I can do the same thing. (I know, art people will always say “but you didn’t. that’s the key”… but I don’t get it. ha)
I love the Renaissance art. The oils, the human form, the details and the textures…. I love seeing the evolution of Christian themed paintings as painters evolved throughout the 1200s to the 1600s. But Dalí, as weird and as sexually perverse as he was….I can put my mind in a state to appreciate his craziness. His entire persona was created and curated to perplex and get a rise out of people. He’s probably my favorite artist, definitely my favorite modern artist.
The whole town is like a dedication to it’s golden child and all of the modern artists who followed him.
In the courtyard is a Cadillac once owned by Al Capone. Supposedly if you insert a coin into a slot, it rains inside of the car.
Just inside the main atrium are my two favorite Dalí paintings:
The first, Gala Nude Looking at the Sea Which at 18 Metres Appears the President Lincoln. I love the “dual image” theme of a lot of Dalí works.
Second is The Hallucinogenic Toreador.
The Phantom Cart. Another favorite. This entire painting is under 12 inches or so wide, which makes it even better.
An alligator lamp… because he’s Dalí. haha
The quirkiest exhibit in the place: The Mae West Room
It’s based off of Dalí’s original painting from 30 years earlier:
When viewed from one vantage point, the room becomes the face of Mae West
The famous melting clocks from The Persistence of Memory.
After leaving Figueres, we tried to find an “Enchanted Forest” in a small village but just ended up on some dirt goat path and ending at a no trespassing sign, so we gave up and continued toward Barcelona. We did manage to find some good views around the town though.
Around this time we stopped for gas and drinks and we found some chocolate milk to try! We have a thing where we try all of the different chocolate milks available everywhere we travel. So far, Norway is head and shoulders above the competition. haha But Spain now is a close second for their chocolate milk.
Another thing I love here, they put the characters on the water bottles! So instead of Norah wanting juice because it has Elsa on it, she asks for the water because she wants to drink princess water. Thank you Spain for getting it! The US has the characters on all the sugary crap with corn syrup, Ireland has all the characters on products full of Splenda and artificial sweeteners (but less sugar! *eye roll*) but Spain finally got it right!.
We tried to find a giant church in Barcelona first to no avail… Google Maps was not our friend today and Barcelona traffic was bumper to bumper, so we headed outside of the city to the top of Montserrat.
After that, we went to our hotel and found a little cafe serving tapas and drinks. Norah had Burger King because we passed one where we had to leave our car.
We had some grilled octopus and potatoes, some pork ribs and crispy pig’s ears. And I drank an entire bottle of Tempranillo wine. So needless to say, I came back to the room and crashed. ha
We slept in for the first day of the trip… and I think we all needed it. We are not early morning risers and we had been up, packed, breakfast and on the road by 9 am every day since we arrived… so today was nice. Would have been nicer if we had air conditioning in our room. I think it’s broken, but the not so helpful staff said that the room must just be too big. ha whatever. When in Spain, sweat your tail off I guess.
We stopped by a little local bakery and grabbed some pastries and coffees, walked back to our car and attempted to drive it into the city and find parking to see some Barcelona sights. Taxis were very high and apparently you can’t Uber in Barcelona… and public transport was going to take us almost 2 hours and 3 transfers. We decided to take our chances and if we couldn’t find parking, we would find something else to do. Turns out it wasn’t a huge issue.
Our first stop was Park Güell, a modern park designed by Antoni Gaudí back in the 1910s…
I always complain about the stairs- Barcelona knew I was coming haha they installed escalators outdoors!
There were numerous street vendors selling small items along the path, and Norah wanted a bird whistle. The whistles were made from clay, and when you fill them with water and blow into them, they make a chirping bird whistle sound. We may regret that purchase…
Our next stop was La Sagrada Familia, the most famous Gaudí work in Barcelona… trouble is, I didn’t know you had to buy advance tickets… so we didn’t get to go inside. I’ve gotten burned so many times on advanced tickets- there has never been something I couldn’t buy tickets for when we arrived…except now- this church.
Norah didn’t mind. She went and found a friend at the playground across the street and we sat and talked to the little girl’s parents for quite a while.
After that we got some ice cream to help cool off from the over 100 heat and sun… and headed back toward the hotel.
I had been wanted to check out a garden center if we passed one, hoping to find some citrus fruit seeds from Spain to try and grow them in Ireland in our polytunnel, so we stopped at a big center that had landscaping trees, live animals and other garden and home goods, but their seed selection was very minimal. Nothing I couldn’t get in Ireland.
We got back to the hotel, Norah had a quick nap after conking her forehead on a countertop. I answered some emails and we went swimming in the hotel pool. We had a boring evening here at the hotel restaurant, the highlight being that we all got strawberry ice cream for dessert for finishing our food. 🙂