We are starting a new series where we highlight our tours and guides from an inside perspective. Our Spanish Trails interns hope you enjoy this more personalized look at what Spanish Trails has to offer by recounting their tour experiences.
A few days ago, our tour guide Craig led a small group tour to the town of Figueres where he introduced everyone to the life and work of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí as well as a charming cultural legacy that is the medieval city of Girona. While Craig was born and raised in the eastern United States, he has been living in Barcelona for more than 15 years and his passion for the Catalan culture is contagious.
The day started at 9 am with a 90-minute van ride north of Barcelona. Craig took advantage of this time to explain that the Dalí museum in Figueres was designed by none other than Salvador Dalí himself, and it houses works from all stages of his unique life as one of the world’s most accomplished and recognized artists. Craig expertly described who Dalí was as a man, giving insight to the artist’s nature before the group explored his works.
The visit of the museum lasted 1.5 to 2 hours during which everyone was given the opportunity to freely explore the museum and take their time in the areas that they found to be the most interesting. In the end, everyone agreed with Craig when he confided that the highlight of the museum was Dalí’s jewel collection.
After our time with Dalí, everyone got back in the van and we moved on to Girona to enjoy a delightful lunch of authentic Catalan cuisine. The sights and smells emitting from the open fire grill in the restaurant were intoxicating and the food was simply delightful. Grilled chicken, rabbit, and Catalan sausage, gazpacho, snails, pan con tomate, seasonal salads, and Catalan crème are just a few of the many wonderful dishes that covered our table. Coupled with some great local wine, by the end of the meal we were contently satisfied and ready to venture out to explore Girona’s colorful history and medieval architecture by strolling through the winding old quarter and Jewish Call. Craig made sure to take everyone to the best areas which included picturesque bridges, fascinating squares and medieval ramparts so that people could capture the moment with great pictures. He also told some fascinating stories of how this city, which is steeped in history, has continued to grow since medieval times.
The tour of Girona came to a sweet end with some heavenly gelato on the way back to Barcelona. With chocolate and mint ice-cream cones in hand and surrealist images still floating around in our heads, it was pretty clear that the Dalí Museum & Medieval Girona Day tour is truly a unique and illuminating experience that is both informative and entertaining. Thanks, Craig, for making it possible!
Stay tuned for when we join another one of our guides on another trip to experience their personal appreciation of Catalunya soon.