Sunday, 4 September 2016

Cadaqués: One Last Olé! Adiós and Bonjour

Cadaqués, Spain (Cadaqués, España)
December 2015
A tiny seaside village, Cadaqués is known as an artists' hotspot.
There were several signs along the way indicating elevated views over the surrounding areas and the village, but a thick cloud had settled over the land and it was too hazy for photography from these points. Yannick enjoyed the fact that these were signposted using a symbol that looked like an old-fashioned camera, the kind that for some reason had a concertina-type body. 

Once we reached Cadaqués, we found that it was a pretty fishing village with whitewashed houses and an attractive waterfront. Salvador Dali's family visited the village often during the artist's childhood and he later bought a house nearby. Many other prominent artists have visited to draw inspiration, including Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Walt Disney. As it's only a two and a half hour drive from Barcelona, it's a popular tourist destination and appealing as an area for holiday homes. It's fairly easy to reach, though we had to traverse a small mountain range that felt like the Rimutakas at times and left me feeling slightly queasy by the end of it.

Interestingly, around a third of the population emigrated to Cuba in the early 1900's. Some returned with fortunes, gracing the village with great big mansions, and they were known as "Americanos".
After petting a curious cat for a while, we went in search of lunch, but every restaurant seemed to serve exclusively seafood or looked like it was doling out low-quality tourist crap. We found a bakery instead and I tried to determine what the waitress was saying to two police officers that had entered (from the words I could distinguish, they were gossiping).
From there we set off on the long drive back to France. Before crossing the border we had made sure to have all of our documents ready for the border guard. As Spain and France are part of the Schengen Area, there are normally no border controls but they had been temporarily put into place after the tragic November Paris attacks. Though I had nothing to hide, I always feel a little nervous when passing official checkpoints in case they ask me lots of confusing questions in a language I'm not as familiar with as I should be. But clearly we weren't red flag material, and were waved through with minimal fuss. Merci! Bienvenue to me!

Today's post was almost called: A Brief Dilly-Dali Before Crossing the Border