The forecast for our 4th day didn't look any better with respect to the ever falling precipitation. So we decided to head out of town for the second friend recommendation: The Salvador Dali museum in a small town called Figueres. The train ride is about two hours out of Barcelona, but we got on a nice comfy train so it was actually a nice relaxing trip.
It was cloudy, but not raining when we arrived in Figueres. Our first order of business upon arriving was to find something to eat, and we found that in the form of a Kebab from a nearby stand. One of the travel materials I read somewhere said that the donair meat found in Barcelona is quite a bit different from what we'd be used to from North America, and we found that that was indeed the case. It was definitely tasty.
While we enjoyed our kebabs, we walked towards the Dali museum through the streets of Figueres. On the way, we found ourselves walking through their version of an open air market -- not nearly as large as the one in Barcelona of course, but still bustling with activity.
The Dali museum is ... interesting. Before we went, I wasn't all that familiar with his work, aside from the odd warped clock image. After going through the museum, my main impression was that the artwork in his collection was incredibly varied. Dali has quite a few more normal sorts of artwork: portraits and scenery and that sort of thing, but then there's also a lot of pieces where the only way to describe them is: WTF?
The museum itself used to be a theatre that Dali himself converted into a gallery for his work, so you get a pretty consistent experience throughout the thing. One of the coolest moments is early on in the museum -- in a large hall where the big globe of the museum is attached, on one end there is a painting called "Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea". The painting up close is a nude woman looking out a window onto the sea. But if you make the picture smaller (or in the museum pay 20 cents to use a device to make the picture smaller) the picture becomes a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. That was a pretty cool little trick.
Its a little hard to describe the sights in that museum, but I would suggest that if you have a chance you go see it. It was definitely an interesting experience.
With our admission, we also got admission to the Dali Jewel collection, which is co-located in the same building. The items on display in this collection are ... odd. Dali wasn't shy about his use of valuable raw materials, and some of the items on display are neat: like the jeweled eye shape where the center is a clock, some of the items are punny: like the pearls making pearly white teeth in ruby lips, and some are down right disturbing: like the gold heart with a cut away showing red jewels and a motor to make the red part "beat".
After our tour of the Dali museum, we wandered around the town a little bit since it was still early on and we thought we might as well explore a bit. On our walk, we found an awesome playground that had a lot of really fun playground equipment. So we played on some of the equipment, including a zipline!
On our way back to the train station, we got a little bit lost, but that wasn't really a problem: there was plenty of trains heading back to Barcelona. Eventually we found ourselves back at the market we had walked through earlier -- now vacant. The next train back was right away, so we scurried back to the train station and arrived just in time for the train back.
When we got back to our hotel, we were too tired to go far looking for food so we ended up across the street from our hotel at a restaurant called Organic. This vegetarian restaurant had a pretty extensive menu and actually was pretty good!
Next up: Christmas day - the one day of nice weather on our trip!