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saturday, june 6, 2015 the artist
Ahh, another good night of sleep. I slept close to 12 hours and woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on Figueres once again. After a café con leche and a chocolate croissant, I decided it was time to head to el Museu Dalí and finally experience a place I've been very anxious to visit. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. The entire tour of the museum is a work of art in itself. From the moment you entire the garden where you see the upside-down boat shedding tears for the death of Gala, or when you walk up the spiraling staircases and enter rooms that feel like they're swallowing you whole, the building exudes art. What amazes me most about Dalí is how he can get into his paintings with the thinnest strokes of paint and make it look like he used a pencil. There are so many paintings in which this technique is used, and they almost look like printed pictures because the detail is so fine. He's also a master of blending colors and producing some unbelievable gradients, and I'm always in awe of how he's able to achieve this level of mastery within his works. There was a gallery in which many of his sketches were exhibited, and that might have been my favorite part. I really enjoy how he uses cross-hatching to create levels of shadow in the sketches, and while they're weird and depict abnormal scenes, they're also quite brilliant. I imagine that he did each sketch in less than an hour, which would take me years to do. I consider myself an artistic person, since I like to draw occasionally on my iPad, and this section left me inspired to do more of that.

Some other standouts from the museum was the painting that looked like different colored blocks up close, but from across the room you could easily tell it was Abraham Lincoln. I have some pictures of it below, so be sure to see what I mean. The top floor of the museum consisted of paintings in which Dalí painted rocks to make bodies. I didn't know that this was something that he did, but it was very cool to see. In a separate exhibit was encased jewelry that he had designed, and while looking at jewely isn't something that particularly interests me, I was impressed by what he was able to fuse together.

In the afternoon I ventured out of town just a little bit to visit the ruins of Castillo de San Fernando, which was an old fort that didn't survive the Spanish Civil War. The panoramic picture above was taken just outside the fort and was a breath-taking sight to see. The fort itself was very cool, and I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. I didn't see anyone else there, so it was kind of like I had the place to myself! I received an audio guide in exchange for my watch, and of course I chose to listen in Spanish. I learned a lot, saw a lot of neat structures, and took some great pictures. The views from up top were ridiculous!

I was thirsty and starving after walking around the ruins for close to two hours, so I knew exactly what I wanted. I remember seeing this little square in the alleys of Figueres, and I remember the menu looking quite versatile. I walked back into town, found the outdoor sitting area of the restaurant, and ordered una hamburguesa y una caña. From what I remember reading at other restaurants, the beef here is ternera, which I knew was veal—I didn't care. It was delicious. So then I went back to the hotel to relax for a bit and begin this blog. I had scoped out the restaurants in Figueres a while back, and I made a mental note to go to Fiore, which is a local pizza place that's literally across the street from my hotel. I wanted to go last night, but they didn't open until 7:30pm and the timing just wasn't right for my stomach. Instead, I went tonight. The pizza was rather large, but I ate all of it! It definitely wasn't the best pizza I've ever had, but it was still good. I'd give it a 6/10. To finish off the evening, I found a new place to get my gelato, and the two flavors I had were crema catalana and plátano. The plátano was just okay, but the crema catalana was bank.

Overall, Figueres is a lovely little town. It grew on me fast and offers a lot of charm, though I think I've spent enough time here. Tomorrow I head to Paris—PARIS. I've had a lot of time to myself to think and reflect on a lot of things, and most recently I've been finding myself in disbelief that this is my life right now. I still can't believe I'm here, and every time I say "I'm going to Paris tomorrow," I have to give a quick laugh. Life is pretty crazy, guys.

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a year later...
I want to start this addendum by quickly talking about the camera that I took on this trip. I had originally purchased a Canon Rebel T5i, and while it was an amazing camera, it would not have been a practical purchase for my specific trip. I needed something compact and light, so after toying around with the T5i for a week, I did my research and discovered the Canon G7X. The G7X is very popular among famous YouTubers, so I knew it would take great videos, and I saw that the picture quality was also really great. While a lot of people have admired the pictures that I took on my trip, the resolution of what they're seeing has been compromised. Compare these two pictures (click on the links): the resized picture for this website and the raw picture I took before resizing it. There is a significant difference in detail, and while I would have liked to have shown each picture in its raw format, that wouldn't have been practical for photo gallery purposes. Still, the end result of the website pictures look great, and I can print of the raw pictures and they look fantastic.

Based on the trip to Figueres, I will never judge a city by the first impression I have of it. I remember seriously doubting my travel choice of coming to Figueres when I arrived. The train station was as outside of the town as it could be, so I was walking through dry fields to get to civilization, which was only like 1/4 of a mile. But I guess that's how all cities and towns are, even in the United States. There's the nice, clean downtown area, and then there's the rural sprawl surrounding. I had to keep in mind that you have to get through the rural section to get to the downtown.

I sat in Park Bosc for quite some time, like maybe over an hour. I felt so relaxed there, and I wanted to reflect about what I've done up to that point and also what I was about to do in the next week. It was one of those moments where I had to look around and remind myself that I was there—in Spain. There was a lot of self-pinching during the first week of my trip, that's for sure!

El Museu Dalí

Las fortalezas del Castillo de San Fernando

other pictures from today

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