Kiri and


Such a beautiful horizon

January 26th, 2014 (by Steve)

You’ve got to love Catalunya. It’s a bit like Wales. Fiercely proud of their nationality, with their own flag, language and share of mountains. So, we crossed over the Pyrenees and stopped off in Figueres. I was a little wary about our stopping place for the night, outside the castle, as there was a big sign saying “NO VIGILAT”, so I wasn’t sure if we would be able to stay there. Turns out that this means that it’s not a monitored car park though… which local dog walkers, joggers, boy racers and… ummm… let’s say “lovers” seemed to take advantage of. It is a lovely place to wander though, with beautiful views all around.


Figueres gets a certain amount of its fame from Dali, so it would have been rude not to visit the Dali museum whilst we were there. At 12 Euros a ticket, it seemed a bit steep, but Kiri persuaded me that it would be worth that. Gosh, she wasn’t wrong. It’s incredible how you can have a whole museum filled with work by one artist that is so diverse. I have come to the conclusion that Dali was a total genius. From a pixelated painting that is designed to be seen properly by taking a photo of it, through to incredible photo-realistic painted drops of water, through to stereoscopic paintings, the evidence of a brilliant mind is clear to see. Now we’ve seen his take on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, we almost don’t need to see the real thing! What makes him even more of a genius in my eyes though is his utter weirdness. Who else would get away with a painting titled “Bed and two bedside tables ferociously attacking a cello”? Kiri’s take? Well, she’s always been a fan of his tight detail in paintings and took plenty of reference photos, but also she learned about some of his looser, freer work. Kiri’s not massively inspired by Dali’s installation art though… I’m inclined to agree!


From Dali to Gaudi (with a little encouragement from Freddie Mercury and Montserrat CaballĂ©). Yes, Barcelona was our next destination. Leaving Bertha in a guarded car park a few blocks away from Sagrada Familia (thanks Jason + Julie!) we wandered through the rainy streets. Now we’ve both been to Barcelona before, so it was interesting to see how it has changed and how Sagrada Familia has grown. Kiri was there 4 years ago on a family holiday, whilst my previous experience was altogether a little different. Talk about surreal…I was last there 10 years ago with my university barbershop group, where we spent 3 or 4 days wandering around in dinner suits (+ masks), busking in various spots around the city. It was good to revisit these “familia” spots (sorry) as we wandered, but it was even better to get inside a cafe and treat ourselves to a beautiful silky, thick, Spanish hot chocolate with churros. Heaven in a cup!


The following day we headed up to Parc Guell (the Gaudi park) to start our day of wandering and I was outraged that you now have to pay to visit parts of it. Deciding that it wasn’t worth 7 Euros each, we admired the mosaics, organic stone structures and guards from afar. Wonder what Gaudi would make of it? After being spectators of a game of boules, we ate our packed lunch on a bench, then headed for La Rambla once again. It’s strange how the weather can turn it from a deserted street to one packed with people… so we headed off-piste to find some exciting alleyways. There’s only so much walking that you can do in a day though, so in order to keep Kiri occupied I told her tales of the giant gorilla that there is in Barcelona. She didn’t believe me… and after half an hour of walking to try to find it, I was beginning to not believe me. When we finally arrived at the place I thought it was, it turned out to be a giant mammoth, not a gorilla. It’s strange how your memory can play tricks on you!


Only one thing could make up for such a misleading detour. But sadly, we couldn’t find any cake, so we opted for seafood paella instead. Good call. It was crammed with mussels, languistines, little squid, calamari and what we think was cuttlefish… in any case, it was fresh, tasty and beautiful. Wowsers!


We caught another glimpse of Sagrada Familia as we headed back to Bertha and pondered what state it will be in when we next come to Barcelona… maybe next time we’ll fork out to go inside? After another night in the guarded car park, it was time to hit the road again… maybe aiming for a stop a little less urban next time?

All posts about Spain

Pilgrims, fuses and more waves

Stormy seas and myriad motorhomers

The joy of networking

Mountains and mud

The rain in Spain…

Such a beautiful horizon

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