Keeping it surreal: my Dalí-inspired art trip to Catalonia

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Portlligat, Cadaqués and Cap de Creus provide the ‘hallucinatory’ backdrop to an emotive journey into the natural world that helped create the artist

I have been made in these rocks. Here have I shaped my personality,” Salvador Dalí said of the landscape around his home of Portlligat, plus neighbouring Cadaqués and Cap de Creus. Dalí lived in this village for most of his life, setting up home in a fishing hut from 1930. It was, for him, a place of “geological peacefulness”.

This area of Catalonia – the most easterly point of Spain – is the endpoint of my road trip from Brighton via Chartres, Carcassonne and Languedoc. Dalí brought me here. His beguiling and surreal imagery fired my young imagination; his art was a gateway to the weird. Ever since discovering that the hallucinatory landscapes that frame his work are every bit as strange as Dalí portrayed them, I’ve wanted to visit. I’m here for Dalí and for the rocks. In my pocket a geological curio from Brighton beach also makes this something of a pilgrimage.

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