All About Spain Part II – Salvador Dali and Cadaques
In our previous post, All About Spain Part I- Barcelona, Tossa De Mar and Empuries, we wrote about our experiences exploring the Catalan region of Spain. Catalonia is a region bordered by France and Andorra to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the east, it is also the region where Barcelona is located. Having visited Barcelona in our previous visits to Spain we decided to explore the towns and cities north of the capital.
We had heard about the town of Cadaques through previous conversations with our Spanish friends and after some research we decided to check it out. We were told the journey to the fishing town was winding but worth the trek. Apparently up until the early 20th century the only way to access the town was by boat, due to the mountains surrounding the coastline.
We quickly found out why it took so long to build a road to Cadaques. Although breathtakingly beautiful, the hair pin winding road through the steep and rugged mountains were not ideal for someone who is scared of heights (which Jessica happens to be.. luckily she wasn’t driving!).
Once we arrived in Cadaques we were quickly blown away by the beauty of the town. It’s no wonder why Salvador Dali came to this place to be inspired. The picturesque white houses, cobblestone pathways and stunning ocean truly were impressive.
The presence of Dali was evident throughout the whole town. From postcards of his work, to images of his face, to life size statues, it was hard to deny the legacy left behind by this unique artist.
Salvador Dali was born in Figueres ( a 45 minute drive from Cadaques) but would visit Cadaques as a child, eventually buying a place in a private cove. Luckily his house is still there and open to the public for viewing. It takes around 10 minutes to drive there but if visiting during peak season leave yourself plenty of time, as there tends to be a bit of a wait.
We almost decided to not take the tour of the house, due to the limited time we had left in Cadaques, but at the last minute we went inside and were glad we did. The house was amazing. Not only was the location perfect, looking out on the water and on a private beach, but the interior decorating was uniquely Dali.
Everything inside the house was kept the way it was when Dali lived there and one could really get the sense of the man’s creative genius. Walking through the halls and exploring all the different rooms was truly fascinating. For those interested in interior design, make sure you put this on your list of future travel destinations.
We explored the room that was his art studio. Left behind were his old paint bottles and unfinished pieces of work- an eerie reminder of his presence. Looking out the window was the view of the sea and surrounding rocks, a beautiful sight to look out on while working.
At the end of the tour we took some time to enjoy the surrounding area. The scenery gave us a better understanding of Dali’s work. The ‘Persistence of Memory’ for an example, an image of clocks melting on a bare beach with water and rocks in the distance, is almost the spitting image of the view from his studio window. With so much natural beauty surrounding Cadaques it is no wonder Dali ended up becoming one of the greatest artists of his time.
Having the opportunity to explore Cadaques and the house where Dali lived connected us more with the northern region of Catalonia. From now on whenever we see a famous Dali painting we will be taken back to the time we were in tiny, beautiful Cadaques, looking out on the water and walking in the foot steps of a genius.
For more information:
Dali House: www.salvador-dali.org