A Day with Dali

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July 31st 2008
Published: December 31st 2008
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"Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy - the joy of being Salvador Dalí - and I ask myself in rapture: What wonderful things this Salvador Dalí is going to accomplish today?" - Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí''

We set off for a day trip to Figueres today. Figueres is famous for being the birthplace of the artist Salvador Dali and the main tourist attraction is the museum, designed by Dali himself, which houses a vast collection of his work. In addition to paintings from all decades of his career it also houses numerous sculptures, collages and tapestries as well as the bizarre living room which when viewed from above looks like the face of the American actress Mae West. The museum was, well, there is no other word for it... surreal. The paintings and sculptures ranged from the unusual to the completely bizarre. One of my favourite pieces was The Persistence of Memory, or rather what must have been a copy of the original as the original is an oil painting and what I saw was part of a large wall hanging.

After exploring the museum we visited the nearby Sant Pere Church. It was probably raised on the site of a former early Christian church during the 10th-11th century. Towards the end of the 14th century King Peter the Ceremonious ordered the construction of a new church in Figueres, and a Gothic-style church was raised over the romanesque building. At the end of the 19th century the dome was rebuilt, though was again damaged during the Spanish Civil War and World War II.

We left the church and found a bench in the sun to relax on before heading back to the train station. We found we had quite a long wait for the next train but amused ourselves people-watching. There was an old couple who apparently had decided to spend the day at the railway station as it was air conditioned and cooler than their home. They seemed to know everyone around and chatted to all the other travellers. Our train finally arrived and I enjoyed the journey home as we passed through so much countryside which I have been quite deprived of living for a whole month in a city.

We spent the evening out in Girona again. The one thing I really love about Spain is the night life. It is so nice to go out at 10 or 11 pm and find all the cafes and bars open and families with young children sitting enjoying a meal together. It also means that the towns and cities have a great atmosphere after dark and are really lively and vibrant. We finally called it a night and set off for home.

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