DALI! Months ago, when we first planned this trip, Jamie insisted that we make a side trip to the Dali Museum in Figueres. During the heated negotiation, I agreed. I like the trippy melting clocks, so I figured why not? On that note, we woke up early and I signed my life away to GO Car rentals. I was quite happy with our little Nissan Micra, a Euro style hatchback with a manual transmission. I clutched and shifted my way to pick up Alan and Michelle, not even stalling once, and we were soon rolling across the country to the sounds of my iPod playlists. About an hour and a half later, we were in Figueres.
The entry line was about an hour long, leaving the group glad we had departed so early. The outside of the building was pretty crazy. “The museum opened on September 28, 1974, with continuing expansions through the mid-1980s. It houses the single largest and most diverse collection of works by Salvador Dalí, the heart of which was from the artist’s own collection. In addition to Dalí paintings from all decades of his career, there are Dalí sculptures, 3-dimensional collages, mechanical devices, a living-room with custom furniture that looks like the face of Mae West when viewed from a certain spot, and other curiosities from Dalí’s imagination.”
Alan was really quite taken with Dali’s art. He proved to have a knack for seeing different things that we overlooked and for finding easily missed displays that were worth seeing. For a man who claims not to like art or museums very much, he really seemed to enjoy himself.
And the museum really was quite a spectacle. You enter a giant round atrium to find an old Cadillac where it is actually raining inside. Follow the path to room #2 and there is a giant painting, gigantic. On the wall is a ‘Dali’ of Abe Lincoln. Jamie didn’t see him in it though. We found a sort of telecope, where you drop in 20 cents and the viewer turns on for a moment and then you can easily see Lincoln through the lens. There is a bunch of coin operated art. So freaking cool.
We went from room to room seeing different pieces that ranged from standard to wacky to just bizarre. Some of it we loved, others made no sense at all. You would return to a room from a different door and see something you had missed before. What kind of a crazy man comes up with this stuff??
The Mae West room was very cool. We all wanted to skip the line, but Alan insisted. It’s a giant face that you can only see when you climb the stairs and look at it though a lens.
Dali is entombed here. One room is rather dark and in the wall is large stone grave marker. Alan walks up and asks “Hey, Sali! You in there?” I like to think Salvador would’ve appreciated the salutations.
After a couple of hours we were extremely tired and art-ed out. Jamie and I purchased a book outlining the museum in the gift shop and then we all set out on foot for lunch. Weary, we chose a sub-par cafe because of it’s varied menus and ordered. Moments later, Alan points out “Look, our waitress is taking our lunch out of the freezer!” Just what I was hoping for: frozen Paella. Hey, at least it was cheap and Jamie enjoyed her frozen pizza. This country is bleeding the money out of me quickly and I was happy to have at least found lunch for 20 Euros.
Our itinerary called for a ride out to the small beach town of Cadaques, but with cool, overcast skies and intermittent drops of rain we elected to skip the beach and head for home. My passengers napped as I kept the needle at 130, kilometer per hour that is, to the sounds of the Dave Matthews Band.
Returning to “El Doble Ve” Jamie and Michelle went to a section of town with very high end shopping. While they enjoyed some girl-talk, I headed home for siesta. When Jamie returned home empty handed, I breathed a sigh of relief.
For our final evening, we decided to keep it low key and hit up the chiringuito just outside our hotel. The food and atmosphere were very nice as the sun set over the Mediterranean and our stay in Barcelona. Not yet ready to go upstairs and pack our bags, we took a stroll along the beach enjoying the last remains of the day.
Adios Barcelona. Muchas gracias.