We had a big day planned - the three Salvador Dali museums north of Barcelona a couple of hours. I had been told that this was a pretty ambitious idea since the museums were in three different locations, with lots of traffic in between, but our driver Armando thought we could accomplish it in 9 or 10 hours. So, he picked us up in his taxi-van about 8:30, and off we went!
First stop was the Dali Theatre Museum in Figueres, about 1.5 hours from Barcelona. Lots of people in line when we got there, but it went pretty fast. If you are a Dali fan, you will enjoy the museum. A lot of it, though, is pencil drawings and not his major paintings. The one major painting was Lincoln in Dali-Vision, which we have a print of. It was just HUGE! We didn't realize it would be so big. There is also an old vehicle in the courtyard with a huge statue on the hood. Dali certainly had a vivid (and strange) imagination which he displayed in his art.
There is also a smaller museum on the property that displays the jewelry that Dali designed. Really unusual and beautiful.
Next stop was the Salvador Dali house museum in Portlligat near the coastal city of Cadaques. Traffic was bad - a narrow road crowded with tourists trying to get to the beach. Took quite awhile, but we made it! This is the one museum that you need an actual reservation for because the house is small, and they only allow a certain number of people to enter every 10 minutes. We sat in a little beachside bar while Armando went up to the Dali house to see about the tickets. He was gone quite awhile (time enough for Bill to see his first topless lady), but was successful in getting us tickets.
I think it was my favorite of the three Dali museums - to see how the man actually lived and how he chose to decorate his home. The view of the fishing port from high on the hill was just gorgeous - also the pool area. That man knew how to live!
By this time it was mid afternoon, and we were starving, so Armando took us into the beach city of Cadaques for lunch. The restaurant was called El Pescador and was right on the beachfront. Fish specialties, of course. Everything was delicious.
Onward we went to the Gala Dali castle museum in Pubol. For those of you unfamiliar with Dali's life, Gala was the Russian-born woman he married. He gifted this castle to her so she would have something that belonged to just her, and he decorated it for her. It was huge - much larger than his little beach house.
It is said that he did not visit Gala in this house unless he first obtained permission so he wouldn't run into one of her lovers! The grounds of the castle were just beautiful too. Gala is buried here at the museum. There are two crypts, but only hers is occupied. Gala was 10 years older than Salvador and died in 1982. After his death in 1989, Dali was buried at the museum in Figueres. Don't know if this was his intention or not, but it's kind of sad that they were not buried together.
This turned out to be a 12-hour day, and we were all tired. Armando dropped us off at our hotel, and we crashed and just had cheese and crackers and a little wine for dinner. A wonderrful day, though - we saw so many great things!