Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dali Day - His Home

In one last burst of weekend budget airline travel gusto we spent our last Sat/Sun/Mon morning as "official expats" traveling to Barcelona. We rode Ryan Air to Girona which is about an hour north from the heart of the city. But the detour worked out great for us. Having been to Barcelona 8 years ago, we had a list of off the beaten path sites to see en route.

We started in Port Lligat near the town of Cadaques. Here we kicked off what became Dali Day. I have never been a big Salvadore Dali fan, but was yet again surprised that in context his art made more sense and was more fulfilling.

We traveled over the mountains and through the woods to get to this beach. At the end was Dali's home where he lived from 1930 to 1982 with his lady, Gala.
After checking in we had a few minutes before our tour got underway. Dali certainly picked a gorgeous spot for his abode. We took to the beach to see what we could see, SEA, see! To our surprise and delight we found this family of conchs sunning themselves!10 people are allowed on tour every 20 minutes in the Dali home. You have 10 minutes in each of 5 areas to discover and try to crawl into Dali's crazy mind. The first was the lobby and library...We spied "our flag" in the midst of it all. Connor thought that was cool. So did we.In contrast she DID NOT think the bear was cool. Not one bit. We scooted quickly past. Before it could growl at us.The second part is Salvador Dali's studio and paint closet. The guide emphasized his use of natural light while painting. Indeed the windows were central and well-placed.We tried hard to understand where this lady left her clothes and why she is standing on books, but remained perplexed.Not sure what type of entertaining the Dalis were doing in this round rose room of cushions!The tour ends outside, the clear highlight of the eccentric home. Dali's architectural trademark is this big white egg. Yep, he was a crazy artist!Just what everyone needs in their yard - a big boat guy!Pucker up - Kirk and Connor smooch by the pool on the pink lipped couch!It was not a cozy, organized home like I would prefer, but it was incredibly interesting and insightful to how and where the art came from. Later in the day we would return to our Dali art appreciation lesson at his museum. But first there was more of Spain to discover...We drove to the restaurant El Bulli in the middle of nowhere. This is a Michelin three-star restaurant in the city of Roses on the Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain. El Bulli has been described as "the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet" and has been judged Number One on Restaurant magazine's Top 50 list of the World's Best Restaurants a record five times.

The restaurant has a limited season: the 2010 season, for example, will run from June 15 to December 20. Bookings for the next year are taken on a single day after the closing of the current season. It accommodates only 8,000 diners a season, but gets more than two million requests. The average cost of a meal is €250; the restaurant itself has operated at a loss since 2000, with operating profit coming from El Bulli-related books, and lectures from chef AdriĆ .

We of course were not there to dine. But rather to gawk. Rumor is El Bulli is closing this year. Call me crazy but if they would open the other half of the year and/or on Sundays and Mondays with their staff of 40+ chefs - maybe just maybe they could turn a profit?!? I guess art is art in the eyes of the beholder be it a painting or a gourmet dinner.

1 comment:

stephanie said...

oh my goodness...i was reading your post and was getting so excited to hear about what was sure to be the most wonderful dining experience (and, admittedly, growing jealous over the fact that you were able to eat at el bulli!) and then realized that it wasn't true...too bad! el bulli sounds amazing (it has been on my dream dining list for a long time)!!! too bad you weren't one of the few lucky diners to eat there in its final season! i wonder if they would have allowed connor to eat there??!