With this week being Easter holidays I had a lot of free time on my hands… well, I always have a lot of free time on my hands but this week I had a lot more than usual. I decided that this gave me the perfect excuse to do some things in and around Barcelona that I hadn’t had a chance to do yet and the top of my list was visiting the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres. I did a little research beforehand but I didn’t want to spoil too much of the experience so apart from the museum opening times, ticket prices and how to get there I knew nothing about Figueres or the museum before I went, which I think was a good way to do it. This trip was also the first I have taken completely by myself to a new place, which is somewhat surprising as I am the type of person who enjoys being alone but I guess sharing experiences with other people is also very rewarding.
Anyway, I got up at 6.30am as I wanted to make sure that I got to Figueres nice and early in an effort to avoid most of the crowds. The train takes about 2hrs from Barcelona and it is a very pleasant journey, I am a sucker for a good train too and this one was pretty fancy with vending machines and plug sockets by every seat. The UK really needs to step up its train quality. Figueres itself is a pretty small, standard Catalan town but standard in Catalonia really means very charming and speckled with beautifully constructed houses. As it was early when I arrived the town was still half asleep with only the other early risers running morning errands so I slowly wandered towards the very well sign-posted museum. It kind of appears out of nowhere from the train station side of town. One minute you’re on a small street and then there is a set of stairs with a large sculpture that slightly covers a building behind it that looks very normal and traditional until you get closer and look up to see a statue of a golden antique scuba outfit on the balcony.
I tried (and failed) to use my old student ID to get discounted entry to the museum but when you’re on a very tight budget you have to try, right? However, I wasn’t disappointed by the fact I had to spend 14€ to get inside because from the moment I stepped in to the entrance and caught a glimpse of the theatre I felt all my senses being assaulted by the multitude of mad pieces that were so clearly the work of Salvador Dalí. The whole place is a built upon the old municipal theatre and is the last great work of Dalí who wanted the largest part of his work to be kept in his hometown and opposite the very church he was baptised in. Plus, he was a theatrical painter and person so I guess it’s understandable why a simple museum wasn’t quite enough.
I must have spent nearly 2 hours wandering around the place, often laughing to myself at the wonderful weirdness of Dalí’s mind and then occasionally getting frustrated by people who seemed to be stopping to take a picture of every piece of art instead of just enjoying looking at it in that moment. But I guess I can’t say anything when I am one of those idiots who takes pictures of nice food before eating it. My favourite part was definitely the main section of the theatre because I kept finding new ways to look at it every time it came back into view. I was a little taken aback by the fact that Dalí’s crypt lies in the museum but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that really. I kept accidentally catching up to an English tour group and hearing snippets of information about the art and Dalí’s life and it made me think that paying for a tour may have been worth it but my experience was good none the less.
After the museum I wandered all around the town, which doesn’t take too long, and contemplated catching a bus out to Dalí’s house but I decided to save that for when I come back to Catalonia. I feel as though if I leave some things to do I will be more likely to hurry back when I leave and there is still so much more of the towns surrounding Barcelona I would love to see, especially the Costa Brava area, I hear flights to Girona are pretty cheap…