What I did and saw:
Salvador Dali House Museum-
While Salvador Dali was born in Figueres, he lived much of his life in a seaside house in Portlligat. He bought a handful of huts owned by fishermen and converted them into his house overlooking the picturesque bay. The beautiful Portlligat Bay is heavily featured in many of Dali’s works.
Walked along the waterfront-
The seaside towns of Portlligat and Cadaqués are very nice places to walk through. The water is beautiful and clear, and the small streets are winding, pretty, and interesting.
Where I ate and drank:
Cadaques Cafe Cucina Italiana-
I wasn’t expecting to find excellent Italian food in Cadaqués, but I did. The meal I had there was great, the the tiramisu is some of the best tiramisu I have ever had, including my time in Italy.
Where I stayed and how I got around:
I stayed in Figueres, Dali’s town of birth, and took a bus to Cadaqués. I am not (or at least my stomach isn’t) typically a fan of winding, hour long bus rides, but it is one of the view ways to get to Cadaqués and Portlligat. Once in Cadaqués I walked to get around the city and to Portlligat.
My favorite thing:
The town of Cadaqués was pretty, the tiramisu from Cadaqués cafe was delicious, and visiting Dali’s house was very interesting, but my favorite part of Cadaqués and Portlligat were the beautiful ocean views. It is easy to see how the Portlligat Bay could inspire many paintings.
My least favorite thing:
I am not a fan of winding bus rides and would prefer to take trains or planes, but unfortunately the bus was my only option to get to Cadaqués and Portlligat.
For next time:
Cadaqués and Portlligat is a relatively small area, but if I get an opportunity to go there again I would be interested in spending more time at the beaches and bays there.
When traveling, electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets can make things much more convenient. However, if they are out of power they are useless. Unfortunately some hostels may not have a plug for every bed. Sometimes it can be difficult to find an outlet in an airport or train station. Not every seat on planes and trains have outlets. And sometimes you might stay out all day past the point when your device would run out of power. However, that is where portable chargers come in handy. I have found them to be very useful and have used a handful of different varieties, but the Anker PowerCore 13000 is the best one I have found and is the one I currently use. Here are my thoughts on it:
The PowerCore 13000 has, as the name suggests, has 13,000 mAh. This term stands for milliamp hours, and is just a measure of battery capacity. I have found that the PowerCore 13000 can fully charge my phone multiple times without needing a recharge itself, and can bring my iPad from below twenty percent to fully charged.
The PowerCore 13000 has something called PowerIQ, which basically means that it charges devices quickly. It seems to recharge my devices even faster than if they are plugged into a standard outlet. The PowerCore 13000 fully recharges overnight, ready to go for the next day out.
The PowerCore 13000 is not the smallest or lightest portable charger, but it is very efficient with its size. It is 3.8 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches and weighs 8.99 ounces. You would be hard pressed to find another portable battery that packs 13000 mAh into a size that small.
With two USB outputs, the PowerCore 13000 can charge two devices at the same time. If your travel partner needs a charge they can plug their device into your PowerCore 13000. Or if they have their own you can take turns using each other’s, so you can have one in use and one recharging.
When everything above is taken into consideration, the Anker PowerCore 13000 is relatively very inexpensive. It costs around $37 on Amazon, and will occasionally go on sale also.
Slow double charge-
If two devices are being charged at the same time, the charging time for each is slowed down somewhat.
I highly recommend the Anker PowerCore 13000. It has worked extremely well for me and has proven to be very reliable. When the advantages and disadvantages above are weighed out, the advantages come out on top by far. I have been very happy with my purchase and continue to use it regularly.
I have talked about speakeasies in Barcelona in a previous post, but there some other great places that are hidden in plain sight. They do not require a password to enter, you just need to know where to find them. Here they are:
Caelum looks like it is just selling candies and sweets, but they offer more than that. Once you go inside, there are stairs that lead to a cool basement area where they serve a variety of cakes, small desserts, craft beer, good drinks, and a nice tea menu. It is easy to walk past but worth stopping in.
Kælkerkold is a great craft beer spot just off La Rambla. While many people walk past the spot, they do not know that inside Kælkerkold is a quality cocktail bar called Å Bar. Just go inside, go past the Kælkerkold bar, down a few steps, and you arrive at Å Bar. If you prefer craft beer to cocktails you can grab one from Kælkerkold and bring it back with you. It’s the best of both worlds.
Located around the corner from the Palau de la Música Catalana, Antic Teatre is another place that is very easy to walk past. However, once you enter and go up the stairs it opens up to a cool garden area where you can grab a drink and a snack. The prices are very economical for bar Iberian bar snacks like olives, and in terms of drinks they offer wine, beer, and cocktails. The wine or vermouth are probably the best value buys, as the craft beer they do have is a bit pricy, while the wine and vermouth are good and relatively cheap.
El Bosc de les Fades-
Connected to the wax museum just off La Rambla is El Bosc de les Fades. With some of the wax displays it is a bit magical and can be a bit creepy, but it is very unique. They don’t have anything amazing or unique in terms of food and drink, but they do offer good wine and sangria for good prices, especially when considering the unique fantastical forest setting and the proximity to La Rambla. They operate as a cafe during the day and a wine bar at night.
Located in the Gothic Quarter not far from La Rambla, Bar Jardí is an oasis in a tourist heavy part of town. Set amongst a bunch of shops, looks for the A-frame sign for Bar Jardí, go through the stores, and follow the neon sign up the steps. Once you go up the steps the garden bar opens up. They serve various espresso drinks, vermouth, cocktails, wines, and a few craft beers.
What I did and saw:
Salvador Dali was undeniably a unique person that was born in the city of Figueres. I was previously able to see many of his works at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, but the entire museum in Figueres was actually designed by the artist himself. Dali is buried in a crypt below the museum. It is one of the more interesting art museums I have ever visited.
Explored the city-
Thanks in large part to Dali and those inspired by him, there is some interesting art around the small town of Figueres. It is a nice small town to walk around with, like many Catalonian cities, a nice “Rambla” to walk down and many interesting side streets.
What I ate and drank:
Bocam is a very good restaurant that serves excellent local food with a unique flair. They even serve a dessert molded into an egg in honor of the nearby Dali Museum.
I stopped for a cappuccino at Dalicatessen, in view of the Dali Museum. I’m not typically a fan of espresso drinks, and it wasn’t the best cappuccino I’ve ever had. That being said, it wasn’t horrible and it was very conveniently located.
Casa Ribas is a nice play to go if you want to buy some wine. They have a very nice selection of local products.
Where I stayed:
Located a 15 minute walk from downtown, Hotel Emporda was a very nice place to stay in Figueres. It was very clean and comfortable, and the surrounding views were beautiful.
How I got around:
I reached Figueres by train from Barcelona through Girona. Once in Figueres I walked to get around the small town, and took a bus to visit Cadaques and Portlligat.
My favorite thing:
The main reason most people visit Figueres, and the reason I went, was to visit the unique Dali art and museum in his birthplace.
My least favorite thing:
As it is a small town, Figueres doesn’t have all of the options and amenities that a bigger city will offer. Don’t expect to find craft coffee or an excellent breakfast, but do expect to see some interesting pieces of art.
For next time:
If I am in Figueres again I would like to try out more of the local restaurants. I would also be interested in seeing more of the Emporda area.
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