This is the land of the mad geniuses.

Salvador Dali House Port Lligat

The calm energy of Port Lligat grabs you immediately. It takes a few days to start making sense of it- for the nuances to start appearing.

It is here, the impossibly twisted and gnarled coastline reflected so perfectly in the mercurial Mediterranean is where the Pyrenees mountains collide with the sea like a geological trainwreck millions of years in the making. The fishermen leave their families under the fiery pink glow of daybreak to rely on their knowledge of the cycles of wind and sea to bring food to the table as many generations before. The silvery glow of the olive trees adorning the rocky terraces with the symbiotic myrtles and spiderwebs and an endless symphony of living creatures that protect the trees without any pesticides. The pure solitude of the evenings when all have returned home to rest and the countless stars so big they seem to want to pull you up to the heavens.

Salvador Dalí’s house and Port Lligat are an outward expression of his mind and his world. All of the cycles of life and death, conflict and resolution, sympathy and antipathy that harmonize in the most remarkable way. Everything seems so perfect, as if God himself had placed everything just so. It seems so… surreal. As if you are inside one of his paintings, hearing the echo of his advice to young painters, “…on your white canvas it will not be given to you to paint the entire universe. You must choose a small part of it and nevertheless, in this small part, you will have to make felt all the antipathies of the entire universe.”

There’s nothing exciting to brag about, no photos of me making gang signs to prove I was here, no I (heart) Port Lligat t-shirt to buy, just a harmony and serenity in the center of worlds colliding that I have never felt.

Perhaps my search for the flashy and exotic all these years prevented me from seeing… really more like feeling the harmony and disharmony around me. My whole life has been a juggling act of career and deadlines and family and friends and bills and running around trying to maintain a lifestyle and trying so hard to keep everything in balance that perhaps I never stopped to look around and ask myself, “what is the goal all of this effort?”

Travel can change you. It should change you. It should be mind-expanding and at the same time calm your inner demons. It should help you understand the world better by seeing things from another perspective and at the same time help you understand yourself. Instead of trying to recreate your insular world within a luxury hotel in some exotic place, give up something; try something that scares you. You’d be surprised how much satisfaction it brings to release the baggage of luxuries and fears that hinder growing and connecting with others.

Perhaps instead of creating yearly photo albums to tell the world, “I did it,” we should be striving to be able to say… “I get it.”

Thus my humble attempt at doing just that.

Some helpful links o Port Lligat (about a 15-minute walk from Cadaques, Spain)

The Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation– The official Foundation, including info on the Dali House, the Museum-Theatre and the Castle in Pubol.

Dalí’s ‘50 Secrets to Magic Craftsmaship‘ An interesting look at the method behind the madness, including his creative processes and how he slept for a quarter second (I’ve been trying it- it’s crazy!)

Hotel Port Lligat: The place where I’m staying in an oceanside bungalow for $260/week. (yeah, it’s a pretty sweet deal)



About the author: Brad Bernard


Brad Bernard has traveled through 92 countries to find off-the-map experiences and authentic adventure travel. He pushes his own personal boundaries by travelling experimentally. Brad’s personal quest to find the most extreme and unique in travel has bred misadventures and moments of enlightenment alike. You can read his craziest stories on his adventure travel blog