It is clear that art and culture are highly valued in this part of Spain and perhaps always have been. We saw the Picasso Museum a few days ago and today traveled more than an hour out of town to Figueres to see the Salvador Dalí Museum in the town where he was born. His museum is housed on an old theatre and this space dictates the way his surrealist art is displayed. He was alive when the museum was created and decided which pieces to include and where they should be. Some of it was outside, but most was under roof. In the courtyard he had a Cadillac topped with a big large-busted statue and a dummy driver inside. If you put a coin in the slot, it rained inside the Cadillac. What did it mean? The outer walls of the museum were decorated with turtle shaped loaves of bread. What did that mean? His work was full of symbolism and allegories that were often not obvious to us. He also worked in 3-D and we saw statues and sculptures that were also inscrutable. Inside there was a huge abstract cubist painting designed so that when you looked at it through your camera's viewfinder, you saw a picture of Abraham Lincoln. Clever, but what was that all about? There was a painting of a golden loaf of bread behind a "real" gold loaf of bread laying on a table. I took a photo of it. I don't know why. I took another photo of a little girl with no mouth. What was that about? In a large room Dali had painted himself and his wife as if they were standing on a glass floor and we were looking up from beneath it. Their feet were large and their heads were in the clouds. All righty, then! Explanatory signs included English and we were lucky to have a guide who pointed out the significant pieces and tried to make sense of what they meantime sense of it all. It didn't help much.
Our guide took us through two floors of the museum and said there were two more. Despite our better judgement, we decided to continue. We wandered and wandered and never could find the stairs to go up. Then we decided to do a toilet stop. We wandered and wandered and couldn't find that either. We were in a Dali nightmare.
Finally we escaped outside for a nice alfresco lunch and a wander around Figueres, a very attractive little town.