Figueres: Surreal long weekend

We delved into surrealism last December with a trip to Salvador Dalí’s hometown over Spain’s early December puente, a term used for a long weekend here.

View of courtyard from inside.

The Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres holds the largest collection of the artist’s work.

Hey, look, it’s Honest Abe!

The whole thing is . . . well, surreal, from the giant egg-adorned facade to sculptures that were kind of pay to play.

Nope, nothing erotic about these pieces at all.

You can bet Dreamer was all over capturing that Rainy Taxi experience… and then, everything else on display here, too.

It’s a very unique place.

Caduceus bowl.
Trippy ceiling.
Sweet light fixture.

Perhaps our favorite parts of the museum were the ones we could connect to our personal lives.

Mommy, is the corn man with dolly facial features going to eat me?
…and a callback to OK Used Cars and the Doer family business.
Grandma Esther’s couch with a fancy paint job?

We also saw a lot of Dalí paintings, including many of his muse and wife, Gala.

His love for his wife was also present in the collection of jewels he designed, which was presented as a separate exhibition after exiting the main museum.

Many of the jewels were designed to open or move to show more detail, and this was impressively displayed as well.

Months later, we saw a recreation of the museum’s Mae West room at a surrealism exhibition in Madrid.

Mae West Room.

The museum included photos of Dalí and some of his furniture.


The museum is also the artist’s final resting place.

Outside the Dalí museum.

To be honest, one of us was a bit more into surrealism than the other. Not that Doer didn’t find a way to pass the time…

Gift shop.
Dalí was not the only artist whose work was on display at this museum. Recognize our old buddy Caga Tío? And just in time for Nadal!

While it’s the most famous, the Dalí museum is not by any means the only museum in town. We saw some oldies but goodies at the Toy Museum of Catalonia.

Russian matruska dolls. Hey, we had this exact set!

We started with a look at ancient toys.

Articulated doll.
Collection of ancient dice.

We continued with some more modern items.

Mmm, that’s a quality play kitchen.
The Three Little Pigs.
Hey, it’s the inspiration for Slink from Toy Story!

Meccano, similar to erector set… a favorite of Doer’s.

The toy museum included some church-related playthings.

For playing holy sacrament?
Sorry, Buddy, I’ve got to stand here holding my wife’s purse. No alms in there for you.

And of course, lots and lots of creepy dollies.

Dolly surgery set. This was our favorite piece in the museum. Note the advertisement, which reads, “It’s going to require a surgical operation.”
An original Barbie doll. Wonder what that’s worth now?
Doer found a Spanish pinball machine! Sadly, there was no touching.

The museum is famed for its caganer exhibition, but we found after our arrival that it is only on display every other year, and this was the off year. SAD! Nonetheless, we persevered.

The city featured a Christmas market, where we enjoyed some mulled wine, or vi calent in Catalán.

One night, we stayed drinking our vi calent until the entire rest of the market had shut down.

The city paid homage to its most famous resident with its Christmas lights. Took us a minute to see what was going on here.

Doer enjoyed passing this used-car dealership by our hotel, which no doubt reminded him of his family.

The weekly special. Awwwww, look how cute it is!

Doer also got up early one morning to visit the city museum, which was filled with treasures like this one.

And what enlightenment Doer did not find at the Dalí museum was quickly found at the Emporda Technical Museum. They are said to have at least 3,500 old typewriters to start. The collection is massive. And impressive.

Some red Italian beauties
Typewriter ribbons.
Hebrew typewriter.
Another room of typewriters.
What you use when you have to type on giant paper.
Room after room…
Minerva bronze typewriter from Italy, early 1920s.
Typewriter for musicians.
Chinese typewriter of unknown origin.
Telex machines.
…after room…
Old IBM Selectric ad. Yep, Doer’s family had one.
Don’t you hate it when your secretary isn’t working fast enough?

But the typewriters are just the upper floor. Moving on…

Pencil sharpeners because she’s a teacher, get it?
We also made Dreamer pose with the sewing machines, because clearly those are a lady’s domain.
Many of the antique sewing machines were super ornate with inlays like this.
Great ad for a sewing machine!
…and don’t forget the grandfather clocks.

The grandfather clocks were also phenomenally well-preserved and many had animations on the pendulum.

…and moving on to the first floor:

A dictaphone, possibly used by Doer’s secretary.
Original gramophone.
Multi-iron heaters used in a commercial laundry, pre-electrification.
A collection of electric shavers for travel.
Manually-operated shavers, basically the precursor to the electric models we have now. Doesn’t seem like it would be very comfortable to get a trim with, right?
A collection of office staplers.
Old telephones.
A seltzer bottle filler.
… and pretty much every Michelin Guide published in Spain and France for the past 50 years, including some complementary accessories.

They even had some old bikes for Dreamer.

But that was only half of this trip. We’re clocking out and heading to the next Catalan town.

Leave a Reply

Commenting requires registration. It's super quick, we promise!