Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Domestic in Paradise

Montpellier is 242km from Cadaqués, or two and three quarter hours by autoroute. Last half term holidays we took the autoroute as far as Perpignan, then came off to take the coastal road to Spain.

As I'm a bit susceptible to the cold, I was wearing my birthday pressie, an electric jacket. This nifty piece of clothing plugs into the bike battery and has wires running over the front and back. You wear it under the leather jacket to keep you warm as toast and as snug as a bug despite a biting wind and plunging temperatures. Was I happy to have it? Yep.

We made it as night fell and set off in search of a hotel. This was the beginning of November and some had already packed up for the winter. After some disappointment that the off-season prices were not lower, we found a 3* hotel that was pretty basic, but open. It was a depressing place, with cracked tiles in the room and no sign of refurbishment since it opened thirty years ago.

We couldn't get the wifi to work either, so went down to the centre in search of food and a connection. We found both in a pizzeria that served very average pizzas, and found out later (thanks to the wifi connection) that we should have gone to the place next door for a decent meal...

On our way back to the hotel, we popped into a mini market and bought some beer to consume in our poky little room. I had my Kindle so I'm always happy, and my DB finally got the wifi to work so he was happy too.
Morning sunshine over a stormy Cadaqués
The next morning we went for breakfast in the dining area that had 'Do not take food out of here' notices all over the place, plus a couple of sentries standing guard to ensure we didn't sneak out a packet of biscuits. I had no chance to make sarnies, but wouldn't have been tempted anyway because the breakfast wasn't up to much. The only redeeming feature was the view towards the coast. We decided to leave.
Dali's house at Portlligat
Before we left though, we wanted to walk to Dali's house and visit it, leaving our stuff at the hotel. You have to book to get a ticket - no turning up on the day - so we went online and found 2 tickets for an hour hence - some of the time slots before were already booked up!

It was a 20 minute walk across to the village where we arrived to splendid views across the bay, and Dali's house snuggled in among the trees. It's in fact a row of formerly fishermen's cottages. He started off with a very basic one-room cottage which had a fireplace and a tiny living space. He took Gala there so they could experience an intense togetherness.
Dali's first house (no idea where they went to the loo or washed...)
"The Portlligat Museum-House was Salvador Dalí’s only fixed abode, the place in which he usually lived and worked up till 1982 when, upon Gala’s death, he took up residence at Púbol Castle.
Salvador Dalí moved to Portlligat in 1930, into a small fisherman’s hut, attracted by the landscape, the light and the isolation of the place. Taking that initial construction as a basis, he created his house little by little over the course of forty years. He himself described it “like a true biological structure [...]. Each new pulse in our life has its own new cell, a room”."

The pool. Is that a dodgy looking pool or is just my smutty mind?
It really is an amazing place with fantastic décor and a surreal, opulent look to certain rooms. Dali had a couple of mirrors installed in his bedroom which captured the early morning sun. He wanted to be the first person in Spain to see the sun rising, along with the lighthouse further down the coast, and to have the experience from his bed.

It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. We headed back to our hotel to pick up our stuff and ride across the bay to a hotel on the other side, much nicer place with a lovely terrace where you could sit and admire the view if it wasn't too windy.

We dumped our stuff and went for a walk to the little island. You can get there by scrambling over the rocks, and then get nearly blown off the bridge in the gale force wind. There is a reason why the sky is so lovely and blue with not a cloud in sight...
It's a cute little place, full of weird rock formations, the most incredible being at the head of the island, in the shape of a fantastic creature of the deep.
Our blissful little break was soured that evening by a domestic on the subject of food. It lasted until well into the next day, continuing during our walk that morning to the lighthouse. The views were fantastic but we were still being grumpy with each other. My DB entertained me with sarky remarks while I skipped up the steep bits in my new zumba fit state and waited patiently at the top just to be annoying. Funnily enough, there were storm clouds gathering out to sea in an appropriate reflection of our mood.
Spot the lighthouse
We were due to head inland towards Olot but we agreed that my DB would drop me off at Figueres station so I could take the train back. I started plotting pleasant things to do with the rest of my weekend...

16 comments:

  1. Tis funny how the most trivial of things can set off domestics like ummm food - even in France where it's quite good I've been told.

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    1. We were in Spain, David. :) But yes, it's usually the trivial stuff that sets off an argument.

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  2. What a (familiar to me) bummer! Hope you managed to enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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    1. All will be revealed in my next blog post, PG. :)

      Thought I'd go for a bit of suspense this time.

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  3. Weird how domestics can rumble on and on - I'm very good at sarky remarks while the Shah just goes for the all out grump. I dont think we've ever argued over food though - both too damn greedy!

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    1. Couple advice suggests that one should never go to bed on an argument. I say bollocks to that. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is make up before all the crap has been cleared up, and having a time limit on doing that would just make things worse. :)

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  4. That is a weird and wonderful pool - they really did have to go to an effort to make those strange lumps and bumps. Kevin and I always have a ginormous domestic when on vacation. Clears the air of the last six months worth of grievances and we're ready to go out to eat once more!

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    1. Wow, Jody, that must make holidays something to look forward to!! :)

      The pool was amazing. Everywhere you looked there were bizarre details, and all the rocks were whitewashed.

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  5. Thanks for taking us along on this trip and sharing it with us. We will leave you to get on with the domestic though..... :-)
    Take care Diane

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    1. Thanks Diane, you're a sport. ;)

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  6. Laughing at the fact that you were wondering where Dali washed or went to the loo - ever the practical, Sarah!

    Those views are just gorgeous: made up for the lack of sandwich-making facilities.

    I do think marital tiffs are more common when you're on holiday: probably because you're together more and yet out-of-routine. We have some crackers but they make good blog posts ;-)

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    1. It was a very small room! I suppose they had a bucket behind a curtain... :)

      You're right, being together more and out of routine is a recipe for an argument. Glad we aren't the only ones. :)

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  7. I had never heard of an electric jacket before! You are indeed so organised ! Your pics are great. You seem to travel a lot. Lucky you!

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    1. Electric jackets are recent invention and they cost a pretty sum which is why it was my birthday pressie, but they are so worth it. My DB is a very keen biker and is 100% up-to-date on everything to do with bikes so he is the organised one here. Credit where credit's due. :)

      We go away mostly on little trips, basically whenever we can, and are lucky to have so many lovely places so close.

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  8. That pool looks so inviting. And those seaside views are spectacular.

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    1. I wonder if anyone ever uses the pool now.

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