Wish you were here!
Cadaqués (on the Spanish side of Catalonia) is the last stop on our Best Kept Secrets of the French-Spanish Borderland sojourn. And it is one of my FAVORITE places on earth. The first time I visited here, it was love-at-first-sight. On a beautiful sunny day, this stretch of white buildings on the sea set against the arid mountains just enchants me. –No wonder so many of the great 20th century artists summered here… Picasso, Miro, Dali: those guys knew how to pick vacation destinations!
On the day that I took these pictures, I had a magical experience in the church that you can see in the first image. There is a baroque alter inside that is so ornate it is practically surreal; and, legend has it that Dali found inspiration here because, back in the day, the local fishermen used to hang live lobsters on it that wriggled and slowly died during some ceremonies. –I’m not convinced that this led to Dali’s famous lobster-phone… but I still wanted to check it out again. To my delight, the church was open after hours and filled (appropriately) with baroque music. Just as I entered, someone lit the alter with light. MAGIC. –Timing can change everything! Outside, a man was playing flamenco music on a classical guitar, so I lingered a little longer than usual to enjoy my favorite view over the red rooftops of the boats bouncing gently in the harbor. Fittingly, we had lobster for lunch.
I love strolling over to the nearby harbor. Dali and Gala lived there and a visit to their secluded home is always delightful (even if you don’t like Dali or his work, you can’t help but find his home fascinating in spots and enchanting in others). I didn’t spot a lobster phone in the cottage but I may have caught a bit of Dali’s eccentricity because after being greeted at the door by a polar bear holding a lamp, I found myself doing silly things like taking this picture of myself in his bathroom!
TIP: Make reservations to visit Dali’s House-Museum, it is only open by reservation.
OUR FAVORITE FOOD: We’ve tried the restaurants in the harbor but the quality is pretty consistently tourist-level (disappointing). I recommend forgoing the view in favor of flavor and eating on the ugliest street in Cadaqués. The chefs who started Compartir had trained in what was considered the best restaurant in the world: El Buli (the documentary is on our list of favorite food films). As the name suggests, this is a fancy restaurant where you eat family-style –all the dishes are designed to share (“compartir”).
-Lisa (Sojourner Tours Owner