Just Figueres

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Catalonia

statue of liberty with Catalan Flags

¡Libertad!

We have passed through Barcelona twice now, a launch pad to Prague (which we returned from earlier this week) and another launch to get to Figueres. Figueres is a small Spanish town which kisses France on the eastern side of Spain. The Catalan language seems spiced with French words – at least in Figueres. We can feel a difference in Catalonia, compared to the 7 weeks in the rest of Spain. It is difficult to put our finger on. We have the impression Catalonia is cosmopolitan, polished, and perhaps more “refined”, though I wish I could come up with a better word, as that seems to put down the rest of Spain, which I do not intend to do. We have about two weeks in Catalonia, so I’ll revisit this, and maybe learn more of their desire for independence.

Figueres

Not just a random stop, but a destination we uncovered while learning about Salvador Dalí in St.

Black & White photo of Dali

The Man, The Mustache

Petersburg, Florida. Figueres is the birthplace of the famed artist, and where his crypt lays today… embalmed in such a way that should there be a way for any sort of future cryogenic-like reincarnation, he’d be ready. . . mustache and all.

(His body was recently exhumed to address a paternity suit. It was said his mustache is in perfect harmony, with the handle bars at his signature 10 past 10 o’clock style, just as he requested. And, for the record, there was no DNA match.)

Unlike Any Other Museum

exterior of the building

Dalí Theatre-Museum, covered in loaves of bread and topped with eggs, among other things

The Dalí Theatre-Museum is quite unique. Contrary to a logical, catalogued collection of art, typical of a museum, what we saw bordered between PeeWee’s Playhouse and genius. A museum conceived, designed and painstakingly choreographed by the master himself. It was utter chaos. To attempt to make sense of it, would be contrary to his intention. In Dalí’s words, “there are two kinds of visitors, those who don’t need a description and those that aren’t worth a description.” There you have it… just soak it in. So, let’s walk in those footsteps…

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The following compilation are not listed in the museum as “the collection”, so I’m guessing these are lithographs.

In my previous “Dalí blog” I mentioned his final exam in art school was to create a still life of a loaf of bread. Apparently he never let that go. I saw so many loaves of bread in his creations, including the exterior walls, and the roof top too.

sentry balancing loaf of bread

More roof top decoration on the Dalí Theatre-Museum

Dalí’s Jewels

NO, not those jewels! I’m talking about the jewelry he created. I was not aware of this side Dalí’. In his typical, egocentric-self, he saw these creations as an American ambassador to Russia, Europe and “to all the world; a symbol of the cosmogonic unity of our century.” As such, most was never intended to be worn, but to be beheld.

I have to concede, the jewels moved me. As a matter of fact, some even moved! Not practical, but beguiling:

Well, you’d probably think this visit would seal our Dalí’ experience. Nope, we have one more ahead of us: his summer retreat in Cadaqués. A summer home, even closer to France.

Castillo de San Fernando

With two days to spend in such a small town, it made sense to explore a bit. We joined the joggers and dog walkers to walk the circumference of the castle/fort/jail of Castillo de San Fernando.

Castillo de San Fernando

photo credit: Ministry of Defense of Spain

I suppose if you’re a country with many castles, and cathedrals and a history rich in architecture, you have to pick and choose which ones to sink money in to. This one apparently didn’t make the cut, but it did make us think of St. Augustine in Florida. Check out these two:

PS

I just have to share a blog I came across while doing my research. Woody is the itinerary guy, determining where to eat & sleep. I try to learn where the photo ops are, and get some historical details. In my search I found a couple of baby-boomer-sisters who travel together, they’re known as Blonde Brunette Travel. I immediately adored their writing, and it was one of funniest posts I got to “study”: Good Golly Mr. Dalí. You have check it out – they’re good!

About Hali

Just a travel junkie trying to find my voice in the blogosphere. I enjoy sharing my photography and fast facts I learn in the places I travel through.