Yesterday, while being jostled in the crowded city market, Brandon said that if he were on the star ship Enterprise, he would program the holo-deck to be filled with virtual tourists, so he could go in and start punching them. We decided that fantasizing about doing violence to tourists means it's time to get some space!
Brandon has been in the city for nearly three weeks now, and in all this time he hasn't been to the beach. The beaches in the city are so crowded it looks like a patchwork carpet of colorful towels and glistening bronze skin, so we knew that we needed to get out of the city to enjoy some open spaces. We settled on St. Pol De Mar, which was about an hours train ride north of the city. The train runs parallel to the shore, so for the entire trip we could gaze at the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, and spy on the sunbathers and sail boats. Remember, sun worshiping in the nude is very common here, so the views from the train were very entertaining!
Like any beach town, it had plenty of outdoor dining areas, and spickets for washing the sand from your feet and bodies. We strolled from the train station through part of town in search of an umbrella and some lunch. We found both within minutes and enjoyed some very lack luster "artisan" pizza (cheese and ham cold cuts on a cracker, basically) and scored a very lovely blue and white striped umbrella for only 8,50 euros.
We parked our umbrella in the sand, slathered some sunblock on our pale skin, and hopped in the crystal clear water. The water is cold, and you can see all the way to the bottom. The waves are small, nothing like the waves on South Carolina beaches like I'm used to. It was like being gently rocked. I see why the beaches here are so popular. Even the sand isn't sandy, it's like little glass beads that easily shake off of your towel.
We didn't feel crowded at this beach either. Everyone was sort of evenly spaced in a single row along the edge of the water. There were plenty of topless ladies about too. And believe it or not, the only thing I felt self conscious about was that my bathing suit was so big. I mean, there were plenty of bigger women on the beach, but hardly any of them under the age of eighty had one piece suits, much less one piece suits with a modest skirt like mine. They proudly wore their skin and sort of decorated it with a colorful scrap of cloth that was all that passed for bottoms.
Brandon managed to get his obligatory sunburn, despite the sunblock and the umbrella, but it was worth it. For me at least!