Travel Log - Part 2: My Summer in Europe 2013 - Cadaqués and Figueres

This is multi-segment travel log documenting my summer adventures in Europe last summer. I hope you will follow along and share in my memories and photos from the best summer of my life! If you missed Part 1, click here.

Part 2:

Day 1 of my trip started in Barcelona. I've been there on several occasions, thus my travel partner from Barcelona suggested a weekend trip to an town 2 hours north called Cadaqués. I rented a car from the airport, pick her up, and we are on our way. 

Cadaqués is located in the province of Girona and is a two-hour drive north of Barcelona. It is a sleepy and quaint fishing village with a long and rich art history. Salvador Dalí spent time here, as did Picasso, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, and several other notable artists and luminaries.

The small village with its hilly streets and whitewashed buildings hugs the rocky bay along the Costa Brava. As we wandered the hilly streets and walked along the sea, the charm and tranquility of the village washed over me.

Day 1 of my trip couldn't have started any better! If you are looking for a quiet place to visit outside of Barcelona, Cadaqués comes highly recommended. Some of my pictures from Cadaqués:

We stayed at a lovely and unique hilltop hotel just outside of Cadaqués called Mas Sa Perafita. Unique as the building is over 700 years old and is part boutique hotel and part winery. The grounds and the views of the surrounding countryside were stunning. Some of my pictures of the hotel and the view are included below:

With access to a car, there much to do and see in the area. Thus, on my second day we were off to Figueres to visit the Dalí Museum. As a fan of Dalí's art, this was an excellent opportunity to see more of his work in the town where he was born. Little did I know that Dalí actually designed the museum, worked within the space, and built exhibits specifically for the museum. The museum was a mix of the beautiful and the odd and was a bit of an overcrowded maze as the space was the art at times and couldn't support the large crowds.

After an amazing lunch at a locally-recommended spot called Can Punyetes in Figueres, we were off to check out some nearby vineyards. We stopped at Celler Espelt, but we were disappointed to find that they were not doing tastings. This is where it gets good.... a young, friendly gentleman drives up to the tasting room as we are leaving and speaks to us. Come to find out, he works with this winery and others in the area. We tell him we are looking to do some tastings and ask for a recommendation. Within minutes, he calls another winery, named Coll de Roses, and arranges a private tasting for us on the rooftop of the tasting room. Upon our arrival, we were greeted like family friends and taken up to a gorgeous roof terrance overlooking the vineyard, the nearby mountains, and the sea. And this was no tasting either as they basically started it off as a tasting and then gave us our preferred bottle to drink at our leisure on the terrance.

It's amazing how opportunities like these occur when you simply are friendly and show a genuine curiosity for a shared passion (wine in this instance).  Here's some pictures from the vineyard:

We did more exploring in the area on the subsequent days, but I'll end this blog entry for now. More to come in Part 3 in the near future.