Ever since our first experiment with AirBnB (where we snagged a New York City...
We arrived at the Salvador Dalí Theatre Museum in the Spanish city of Figueres by way of St. Petersburg, Florida—three years and thousands of miles later.
Before being introduced to Dalí’s work in the Sunshine State in 2011, neither Brian nor I was all that familiar with him beyond his curled, signature mustache and Surrealist paintings. In fact, as we discovered at the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, there was much more to this multi-dimensional artist than a melting clock.
A single Surrealist painting purchased by art-loving newlyweds Reynolds and Eleanor Morse in 1941 was the first piece in the Dalí treasure trove they amassed and which eventually became the basis for the St. Petersburg museum. Dali’s paintings are presented chronologically, spanning 45 years, from Impressionism and Cubism to Surrealism and a classic period that focused on religion and science. He also dabbled in film and photography, created sculptures, and designed jewelry, clothes, furniture, and sets for plays and ballet. We left the museum intrigued by the wonderfully offbeat sensibility that conjured images like a fast-moving still life, the artist Vermeer’s ghost doubling as a table, and bicycle-riding skeletons balancing rocks on their heads.
That was the warm-up act.
Is it possible to get nothing for something and still think you’ve gotten a good deal? Apparently, the answer to that question is yes. Or at least that’s my conclusion after reading an unintentionally hilarious report about how one last minute traveler “scored a good-value award on Cathay Pacific” Airlines.
The short version of this story is that a traveler hadn’t researched or booked parts of his itinerary and, as a result, was having difficulty piecing together some needed flights. Unfortunately, the only flight that fit his needs “was pricing out at a whopping $678, even for economy! That was way too much money for me to shell out,” he writes.
After working some travel hacking magic, the hero of this story manages to book that same flight for $111 plus 2,500 Avios points. Triumphantly he exclaims that the $567 he saved in airfare got him a redemption value on his frequent flyer miles of “a whopping 22.7 cents per point!”
And it’s true. After putting himself in a bind by not booking his flight ahead, he was able to partially avoid a steep penalty by using frequent flyer points.
But here’s the thing: he could have booked an identical flight in advance for $113. So instead of saving $567 he really spent 2,500 Avios points to purchase a ticket for $111 that he otherwise could have bought for $113. That $2 in savings works out to an abysmal .08 cents per point!
It’s easy to see why the Catalonian city of Girona has endured 25 sieges and fallen to enemy forces on seven different occasions. It’s a place you really do want all for yourself. And on our first night in town, we had exactly that.
The day-trippers had all gone for the day. Girona is just an hour’s train ride from Barcelona, making it a quick-hit destination for many. They were mostly leaving just as we arrived.
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”
- Robert Browning
For the past five centuries, the Barcelona Cathedral has housed an unusual guest within its cloisters. As a matter of tradition, the church maintains a gaggle of 13 geese in honor of Barcelona’s patron saint Eulalia, who according to legend died at the age of 13 after enduring 13 different tortures at the hands of roman soldiers.