Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"The only difference between me and a crazy person is that I'm not crazy."

On Sunday, I went to a Renaissance town in north-eastern Spain called Beslu. Every third Sunday of the month, they have a market where people come and sell crafts, books, and other trinkets. We walked around the town for about an hour, and I bought some bracelets. I also found a small elephant figurine made out of mosaic which  I loved and had to buy. This was the first Renaissance fair that I had been to, and I really enjoyed the character of the town.

After we left Besalu, we went to Figueres, Spain to see the Salvador Dali Museum. I am usually not a huge fan of art museums, but this one was so creative that I couldn't help but want to stay there for the entire day. Many Salvador Dali paintings have two pictures in one. For example, one of his paintings is of a woman looking out a window, but if you look at it from a different perspective, it is a painting of Velazquez, another famous Spanish painter. 

Dali had a fascination with eggs and bread. When you walk up to the Salvador Dali Museum, you see lots of eggs on the roof. Also, there are many pictures with Dali wearing a hat that looks like a baguette. He liked these things because he thought that they were the opposite of humans: hard on the outside and soft on the inside. 

Dali's paintings and the museum as a whole encourage the viewer to use introspection while judging a painting. In other words, he asks people to think about what emotions they feel while looking at the works. 

Dali's muse and lover was named Gala. She is famous for being very cold and materialistic. Although Dali was in a relationship with her, his paintings often show her cruel personality. Gala was married before she met Dali, but left her child and husband to be with him. She only saw her child two more times in her entire life.

After we left the Dali Museum, we headed back to Barcelona. I got home around 6:00 and went back to the apartment to unpack my things. Later that night, my friend Hannah was in town, and I went out to dinner with her. 

Monday, I had two exams: one in Poetry of the Twentieth Century and one in Don Quijote. I think that both went well.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day planning the second week of spring break. I will be going to Berlin, Amsterdam, and Prague. I was worried that I wouldn't get a chance to see these cities, but the director of CIEE told us yesterday that spring break lasts for two weeks instead of one. I am very excited to see northern parts of Europe and very grateful to have an extended spring break.

I get to see my parents on Saturday. I can't wait to spend time with them. Their visit will mark the half way point of my time abroad. I can't believe that it has already been ten weeks. With all the traveling I have planned, the trip will be done sooner than I know it. I am off to Lisbon tonight. I am going to Italy on March 30. After Italy, I am going to Berlin, Amsterdam, and Prague. Then, I am home for four days and leave Barcelona again for a weekend in Paris, France. My last trip of the semester is May 4, and I am going to London, England. In total, if I have counted correctly, I will be going to 20 towns/cities this semester. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so grateful to be able to travel to so many places.

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