Today it was time to say goodbye to the town of the goddess Diana, the sleeping elephant mountain and the Costa Blanca. Up early we packed the rental car and headed downtown to drop off the keys. Afterward, we made it to a place Kevin showed us for breakfast. A tapas bar that he frequents after the gym. The young server must have been on his summer break and didn't speak English so the food brought out wasn't what we ordered, but it wasn't wrong. Nothing that delicious could ever be called wrong. With pockets lighter from keys and stomaches heaver from breakfast, we went to say goodbye for now to Kevin and Susan. Again this was only temporary, an hasta luego, not an adios. We will be back to Denia.
Once on the road, it was a smooth drive up the coastline on the AP-7. Nothing too adventurous here just 600 km of the beautiful and breathtaking countryside. We made good time mostly to leaving on time, only a few stops, and driving mostly around 120 - 130 kmh (75 to 80 mph). Now most of the AP-7 is a toll road. This is how Spain has such phenomenal highways is that they are mostly tolls. Costly yes, but worth it. Besides I'm used to Spain owning most of the tollways around Austin anyways. (Yes they own over a sixth of the U.S. toll contracts). I'm not mad this is a good thing if the US will use them. All in all, I spend quite a bit on gas and tolls to drive between Denia to Figueres. This will come into play later as I was planning on using Figueres as a launching point for day-tripping to Barcelona, Girona, and possibly Marseille.
Once in Figueres I, of course, missed a turn. This was actually a blessing as the GPS took us to the other side of Figueres and we got a tour through the main city section. I found the AirBnB but wasn't sure where to park so I just stopped at the first paid garage I could find. Once in the building we went up to the twelfth floor and rang the bell. Greeting us was the sweetest Frenchman I've ever met. He showed us around the apartment in great detail, gave us advice on the area, places to eat, the remote for the garage to park, and helped me park the car in the very tiny and difficult parking garage. He's going to get a great review on AirBnB. Superhost of the year!
Afterward, we went out to his recommendation for dinner, a little place called Papeo. Holy mother of god, this place is amazing. Imagine a Catalonian based, world inspired, fusion tapas joint that pays homage to the fresh ingredients of the region. We had croquetas, kebab wraps, poke, and more. The service there was also top notch and luckily one of the staff there, (possibly a manager?) spoke fantastic English. The language is tricky here. My Spanish is bad even on the best of days but I was managing just fine in Madrid and the Valencia province. However, we are now in on the Costa Brava in Catalonia. Here the language evolved from what was know during Roman times as Vulgar Latin. That mixed with the region being close to France it is its own beast. For example, I know morning or tomorrow is mañana here it is matí. To ask is preguntar here it is demanar. To speak is hablar here it is parlar. Brother is hermano here it is germà. You see my problem?
While eating we took our time and watched Spain tie in the World Cup afterward, we turned in early to relax after a long drive. By early I mean we were in bed by midnight.
The next morning we woke early-ish and went off for a simple breakfast then straight over to the Teatre-Museu Dalí. I can't really describe the museum it's so unique and so mindbending. So instead, I'll take a sample from the website on the world's largest surrealist object.
There are three parts to the museum.
1) The Theatre-Museum as such, refurbished from the old fire-damaged municipal theatre, converted into the Theatre-Museum based on the criteria and design of Salvador Dalí himself. This part of the museum forms a unique artistic object in which each element is an inseparable part of the whole.
2) The group of galleries resulting from the progressive extensions of the Theatre-Museum, in which Dalí's personal intervention is superficial or non-existent. These galleries contain many works from the artist's legacy- stereoscopic works, installations, and anamorphisms-, as well as the Foundation's new acquisitions.
3) The Dalí·Jewels exhibition rooms, inaugurated in 2001, which contain the thirty-seven gold jewels and precious stones from the former Owen Cheatham collection, in addition to two jewels made later and the prior designs made by the painter.
That is really about as much as I can describe except for one of the Jewels that Dali designed. "The Fallen Angel" is a theme that Dali did in several forms from paintings to woodblock carvings and finally in design of a brooch. They had this on display and it was definitely the jewels I was most drawn to. As we exited through the gift shop I saw they had a replica that worked as either a necklace or a brooch. I of course bought it for Red. I'm glad I did because as many of the shops around here have other replicas, lithographs and recreations of Dali's work. I've yet to see another replica of "The Fallen Angel" jewels.
The rest of the afternoon was spent snacking and chilling at the apartment where I decided if the next day we where going to Barcelona, Girona, or Marseille via car or train. In the end I got all the information and decided we would see how we feel the next morning. That night we returned to Papeo for more ridiculous and amazingly delicious food trying things we didn't try the night before. During which we watched Argentina kick ass in the World Cup. Again in bed by a decent time, perhaps around midnight.