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30th September, 2016


Saga Sapphire’s maiden call to Palamos, Spain started with the pilot boarding us at 8 o’clock. He brought a trainee pilot with him as well as an apprentice, who looked like she could be his granddaughter (and probably was).

This looked like a rather large training programme for a harbour that has only one berth for reasonable sized vessels. It is nice however to know that the port authorities think optimistically about its future and is planning for the years ahead. With the proximity of Barcelona, this may not be quite so easy.

The pilot told me that the summer season officially finished two weeks ago. Clearly, nobody told this to the weatherman, as yet again we have arrived in glorious sunshine that stayed with us for the whole day. With the city centre in the immediate vicinity, guests wandered ashore. They enjoyed a stroll and a stop at the local cafeterias scattered around the nice marina. Many of our passengers decided to explore the region on one of our organized tours.

One such tour took our guests to ‘Salvador Dalí’s Castle’. Dalíis best known for the striking and bizarre images of his surrealist work.

His Castle Museum is located in Púbol and was officially the residence of his wife, Gala. The three-storey structure was originally built in the 14th century, when the Barony of Púbol was particularly wealthy. Dalíbought the castle in 1970 to fulfil a promise to Gala that he would one day buy her a palace. It was to be her residence exclusively, which he could visit only by invitation (very odd arrangement, if you ask me, but hey he was a real artist after all).

When purchased the castle was in need of extensive restoration. This was completed in Dali's own unique way, with the structural imperfections of the ruined property used to create unusual open spaces. The gardens were also restored and decorated with many sculptures, busts, and paintings. Much of the castle remains as it was when the Dalís lived there, with many of their articles of clothing, furniture, ornaments, and artwork still present.

Soon after everyone was back on board, we let go of the lines and left the berth on our way towards our only French port this cruise, Sanary-Sur-Mer.

Krzysztof Majdzinski

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.