Our luggage keeps multiplying!
Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf, part of numerous park ultimately leading to the waterfront.
Everyone’s a critic.
One of Barcelona’s many markets was across from our apartment. We played it safe and bought chorizo. I love the freshness and diversity of available ingredients but most apartments have very basic cooking equipment plus I really don’t know what to do with a whole fish.
Adventures in tapas continued at Cerveceria Catalana. It was so good we went twice. We ordered the hamburguesas at other places but this was the first hot dog. It was the best ever, perhaps because of the addition of bacon, cheese, and sweet onion relish.
The Salvador Dalí Theatre-Museum is about an hour away from Barcelona in his hometown of Figueres. It is a must see museum and easy to get to, with the fast train reaching a peak of 245 km. According to Dalí,
It’s obvious that other worlds exist, that’s certain; but, as I’ve already said on many other occasions, these other worlds are inside ours, they reside in the earth and precisely at the centre of the dome of the Dalí Museum, which contains the new, unsuspected and hallucinatory world of Surrealism.
In 1961, mayor of Figueres Ramon Guardiola proposed that Dalí create a museum dedicated to his work. He decided to build it at the site of the Municipal Theatre of Figueres, built in 1850, and destroyed by fire at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. Reduced to its support structure with only the vestibule and foyer in tact, the town had looked at these ruins until the museum opened in 1974. According to Dalí
“Where, if not in my own town, should the most extravagant and solid of my work endure, where if not here? The Municipal Theatre, or what remained of it, struck me as very appropriate, and for three reasons: first, because I am an eminently theatrical painter; second, because the theatre stands right opposite the church where I was baptised; and third, because it was precisely in the hall of the vestibule of the theatre where I gave my first exhibition of painting.”
One of four museums in Figueres, this is the town’s main tourist attraction. The dome has become not only the emblem of the Theatre-Museum but also a symbol for the town of itself.
Dalí worked on this for over a decade, designing the smallest details and creating Room Mae West, one of several works created specifically for the Theatre-Museum. You climb up a ladder and look through curved glass to see this view.
Barcelona’s distinctive grid pattern with wide avenues, and square blocks with chamfered corners. Considered a visionary and pioneering, the design by Ildefons Cerdà was designed to maximize sunlight and ventilation as well as traffic flow. With four or more lanes heading in one direction, it often felt like highways through the city.
I have always idolized Europe as the ideal place to live, with more consideration given to culture, food, and cities. At first glance, travelling here confirms these thoughts, strolling through medieval towns and well-preserved historic districts.
But every city has the old part, for tradition and tourists, and the rest where people really life and affordably. There are suburbs! Many of them contain large concrete towers but of course there are single family houses as well. And the American dream of a large home with private backyard is alive everywhere.
Window box of geraniums on our last night in Spain. Already dreaming of coming back.
Of course no visit to Barcelona can go without mentioning Gaudí so that will be the next post.