Cadaqués is an alluring town on a tiny bay of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain’s Costa Brava.
Even rainfall couldn’t damper its beauty. It’s only the second time I’ve had to pull out my annoying-yellow Mickey Mouse poncho,
thank goodness! Although on the coast, it was a mild 65 degrees, not windy, and we got to watch a lightening dance in high clouds from our outdoor table, safe under an awning. Interestingly, French appears to be the primary language, then Catalan.
Checking out the homes for sale in Cadaqués, it was evident this is a place for Spain’s wealthier residents. Often “just” summer homes, and prices still hovered right around 1 million euro. (US dollar value would be $1.2 mil.) The brokers’ window also had a Lear Jet listed, and a couple yachts.
Long ago this was a sleepy, little fishing village, now transformed into a tourist destination, and made popular by the likes of famed artists Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí – to name just a few.
We know the biggest mistake a tourist makes is choosing to dine where the tourists go. It’s always at the most iconic, or central venue. You know, “you haven’t been to Paris unless you dine on the Avenue des Champs–Élysées, haven’t seen Venice unless you take wine at Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) or, even drinks on the Pier in Santa Monica (California.) Well, I’m here to tell you it’s all hype. As Rick Steves’ has eloquently pointed out, these places don’t need to be good – tourists go there anyway. The service typically stinks, the food doesn’t have to be good, and folks just keep on coming.
Well, we fell for “the draw” in this tiny village – we convinced ourselves, it just didn’t have options for ducking away, or maybe, it we were lured by full-moon-delirium.
Either way, we sat squarely on the bays edge, next to the flaming heaters then waited for any sort of eye contact from a server. We got up to order. Our 4EUR cañas (beers, almost double the cost) came, but our tapas didn’t. No free tapas here – we had to pay 2EUR for some crappy olives. Seriously, they were terrible. When we inquired about the the hummus we ordered, and displayed on the “specials today” chalkboard, “ah yes…! we don’t have today.” Great. And, typical!
Afterwards we grumbled at our mistake. Our stomachs grumbled in dissatisfaction. More aware of our beginners mistake, we easily found plenty of modest restaurants located away from the central bay scene, which likely would’ve been much more satisfying. (And, yes, they were!)
More Dalí Days
This stop was a two nighter. An opportunity to soak-in more of the Dalí world. In 1932 Dalí & Gala had humble beginnings. They bought a fisherman’s hovel, a mere 400 square feet, in Portlligat.
Systematically they acquired structures around them, built upon what they owned, and created an artists paradise with grand views, beautiful lighting, and the eclectic Dalí touch. Today it is known as the Portlligat Museum-House.
We saw the tools of his trade:
It seemed slightly more subdued than his Figueres museum-home. But there wasn’t any question he had always been an eccentric.
I felt this was a nice wrap for a complete Dalí experience. Today I know enough of his bio to carry a decent cocktail party conversation. His is a colorful story, he pushed boundaries, was an enthusiastic entertainer, and revolutionized how we look at life.