Barcelona is such a beautiful and fascinating city that you may think we’re daft to suggest you leave it for a day trip . Well, we are a bit daft, but you should not get this close to the Dali Museum and not see it. It is literally unlike any other museum. Not only because of its contents but because Dali did not allow it to be catalogued or arranged in any logical fashion – he wanted it to be like his work (and life) all over the place!
We went to the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres and his home in Port Lligat with Viator. They were nice enough to let us go for free. But truly it’s a huge bargain even if you pay.
This is a small group tour so there may be 8 people or so on it. If you did the trip yourself you’d have to rent a car or figure out the train schedules to Figueres. On the train you couldn’t get to all of the same places and most importantly you wouldn’t be hearing fascinating, sometimes hilarious, tales from the guide on the drives to and fro.
Plus you’d have to stand in lines, pay entrance fees and you would be turned away from Dali’s home in Port Lligat by the um, total bitch, who runs the admission office. (Trust us, you would be.) Furthermore, you wouldn’t have a real or audio guide in the Dali Museum and having a guide makes it infinitely better!
The Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain
Although, for the DIY crowd, you can go to the Dali Museum’s website to order tickets and amuse yourself to no end with some of the preparatory “educational” materials they suggest you might want to read before visiting. A suggestion straight from the website: “We also recommend a text about The great masturbator which will deepen your knowledge about this work.” (That’s work? For a guy?) And that reminds us of our brilliant and very funny post about Dali , filled with information/theories from our tour guide.
Why is this museum so remarkable? Because Dali was so far ahead of his time in so many ways and he was truly a genius. He made one of the first holographic paintings. When you see it from one angle you only see Abraham Lincoln’s face. When you look at it straight on you see Gala, Dali’s wife/muse in the nude in the middle of Lincoln’s face. (Dali’s wife had a lot of lovers but to the best of our knowledge Abraham Lincoln was not one of them.)
And then there’s the portrait of Beethoven which was painted with squid ink. There are two stories as to how this work was created. The first is that Dali threw squid at the canvas while listening to music by Beethoven. The other is that he dipped shoes in squid ink and used the shoes to paint it. They’re both so weird that it doesn’t matter which one is right.
The museum also has a shot up old Cadillac from Dali’s buddy Al Capone. The car is being rained on. Again there is no one theory everyone agrees on. There’s the one that says it’s Dali’s tears falling after Gala’s death. The other says it’s about a time he got rained on waiting for a taxi in New York City. Suffice it to say it’s about Dali – he was very fond of being the center of attention!
After the museum tour (and we also went to an exhibition next door of jewelry Dali created) we were off to Port Lligat to see Dali’s home. Remember that person we called the B word earlier? She said we were 3 minutes late and had missed our turn. Changing her mind was about as easy as getting Donald Trump to restyle his hair. Finally we were assigned a new time. That was fine as we used the interlude to have lunch in nearby Cadaques.
Back over to Port Lligat (walking distance) and the home. This was the weirdness of Dali’s daily life with his wife, Gala. To say their marriage was not conventional would be a gross understatement. (Seriously, you should read our other post!)
We’ve seen decorators produce some odd arrangements in attempts at originality but Dali didn’t need a decorator to accomplish whatever his goals were!
The home features a number of preposterous taxidermy creations, some of which had been Dali’s pets. Apparently, he wasn’t someone who had run-of-the-mill house pets.
The polar bear has his own stuffed owl, a collection around his neck that makes him appear to be an Aztec sommelier and a handsome collection of walking sticks hinting at the weakness that did him in.
Although Dali had an obsessive sexual attachment to Gala he didn’t have any other sort of “attachment” to her if you know what we’re delicately hinting at.
No, we don’t have a clue what this is about but we do know he also has a huge Michellin Man statue in the pool area. Maybe he was getting “tired”?
More likely this was around the time he was cavorting with Andy Warhol and trying out the whole pop “thing”.
On the ride back to Barcelona we all had our brains so visually blown out and saturated with information that a fair bit of snoozing occurred. Blonde forgets basically everything but this is a trip that we will both long remember.
We implore you, however you do it, get to the Dali Museum in Figueres. You will never again lack for a something to chat about at a cocktail party!