Roadblocks of tourists and cows in Catalonia

Dali Museum, Figures, Spain | Photo by Lauren Girardin

After we say farewell to the Baron and Baroness, Todd and I skip out of Barcelona for a side trip through Catalonia, Spain. Mainly, we’re indulging our artsy-fartsy side by wallowing in Daliwood.

Forgive me, but I can’t help but relate the main Dali attractions – his home in Port Ligat and ego-tripping museum in Figueres – to a theme park like Dollywood.

Though both Dali sites are wonderful, mind-bending pilgrimage points for any artist looking to break a few rules, they are also overrun with massive tour and school groups snapping photos with cell phone cameras and mocking the guards when they try to enforce the “no flash” rule. All that’s missing is a roller coaster, and the coastal town of Cadaques complies by carrying the tourists over the hill to Port Ligat in a kitschy trolley.

Surrealistically satiated, we head to Ripoll for distractions more bound to the ground. As we hike in the foothills of the Pyrenees, we are nearly gored by a feral cow on a steep, overgrown trail and face the constant threat of finding ourselves ankle-deep in fragrant cow patties. Beyond that, our day is filled with wild blackberries, boundless misty mountain views, and Catalan independence graffiti in the most unlikely of places.

Feral cow blocks the trail, Ripoll, Spain
Feral cow blocks the trail, Ripoll, Spain | Photo by Lauren Girardin