There is definitely something inherently relaxing and ultimately satisfying about a sunny day with clear blue skies, and looking out to sea – seeing nothing but the blue horizon glinting back at you. The combination of blue hues in the sea and sky; the glistening rays of the sun shimmering on the gentle waves; the sound of seagulls calling out to the white yachts as they float above…..
Just thinking about it relaxes me. One of my favourite places to go to in Barcelona is along the beaches or to Port Olimpic, where I find a spot on a rocky outlet to sit and enjoy the view. Today was no exception, although the rest of the population seemed to have the same idea, so my usual relaxing wander along the coast was slightly marred by roller skating children and erratic pensioners blocking my way. However, the marina by Port Olimpic is a less travelled path, and although notably busier than normal, I still found my peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and sat mesmerised for an hour or so in the sunshine.
Sadly I’m not the sea-faring type, being unfortunately cursed with travel sickness which follows me on every trip I take. I can’t help but envy my boat loving friends who can sail away into the horizon and follow their adventure wherever it may lead them. Maybe one day I could do that too, just with a supply of Travel Calm tablets and a paper bag just in case.
I’m not a big beach person either; my pale skin is too easily burnt in the heat of the sun, and we all know that bloody sand gets everywhere! But if Ican sit somewhere less sandy, and hopefully avoiding the hordes of locals in coats & scarves and the pink-skinned tourists in shorts and bikinis, then I do crave a blue view. It seems to be a natural desire for humans to be close to water; of course there is the obvious need to drink fresh water, the valuable food source swimming within, and the transport links our waterways and oceans provide, so although we are land bound creatures, we feel quite at home simply being close to the water.
Since British Victorian times when seaside holidays first became popular in the UK, we have flocked in our droves to the seaside and beach resorts from Brighton to Blackpool, Scarborough to Scunthorpe and everywhere in between. Then in the 60s when the first commercial flights and package holidays to Europe began, us Brits ventured further afield to Spain or Portugal. I remember my Mum’s stories of her first holiday abroad to Mallorca, and frankly Bognor Regis just didn’t cut it anymore, now that the tourists were welcomed with open arms to these glamorous, sunny resorts.
Of course now we can go further afield to more exotic unspoiled beaches but Spain still remains a firm favourite for many. I do lament though those who haven’t managed to break the mould of the typical ‘Brits Abroad’ holiday in Benidorm, moving from Irish Bar to Kareoke bar, from fry-ups to fish & chips and back again, all the while wearing a hideous string vest and cooking themselves like lobsters in the sun. I understand why some would want to have their British life in warmer weather, however to come all this way and not at least sample the local cuisine or culture is such a waste.
But I am (thankfully) in Barcelona, not Benidorm, so we have the rare benefit of being a city between the sea and the mountains, boasting the best of both worlds, or rather most worlds – being able to blend the beach life with skiing for the weekend, sunbathing followed by a museum, and a huge variety of tasty cuisine washed down with delicious wine and non-stop nightlife. But out of all the activities available in Barcelona, I still find myself down by the sea at every opportunity. Just to stare out at the blue and imagine…., well, just imagine. Daydreaming about nothing in particular, maybe sailing away to pastures new, or simply spending those precious moments mesmerized by the movement of the waves. Whenever I feel stressed with the world and can’t switch off, my ‘happy place’ I go to is a tropical beach, laid on a sun lounger (in the shade) with a mojito in hand and a handsome man massaging my cares away… Well, a girl can dream at least! In the meantime I have Barcelona, and the blues in the sea and sky always manage to chase my personal blues away, for the time being at least.