A student asked me to write about my travels so this is for her!
I spent two years living in a small town near the North-West coast of mainland Spain. There’s a whole bunch of stunning beaches up there but I can’t deny I was quite excited when I read in The Guardian that I lived just a stone’s throw from one of the world’s best.
Located just off the coast of Vigo, you can see “Las Islas Cies” from the mainland. From a distance, they look jagged and jurassic. Their peaks are encircled by a thick mist.They almost look close enough to swim to but in reality they’re a 30-minute ferry ride away.
This all made me feel very much like the character Richard in Alex Garland’s classic novel, The Beach.
Richard is a young British backpacker who goes in search of a perfect beach located on a secret island.
When Richard lands on the island, he accidentally stumbles onto an illegal Marijuana plantation and is chased down by machine gun-wielding ganja farmers. I was hoping something just as badass would happen to me.
Unfortunately, when we got off the ferry, we just got ice cream and headed to the beach. It was pretty good ice cream though.
The weather wasn’t great but it didn’t take away from its beauty. Even though it was cloudy, the sand was very reflective and created an unexpected abundance of light. It gives your vision a sharp clarity.
The beach itself is visually spectacular. It’s hard to describe the feeling. It’s like being on the moon or a tiny planet. It’s a tiny island looking out onto the vastness of the Atlantic. You forget that you have the whole of Europe behind you. It would be a great place to see the stars.
You also get the feeling that you are sitting on the peak of a mountain that extends much further below the water; like it could be a volcano. I kept imagining King Kong and Godzilla appearing from behind the mountains.
I enjoyed my day but it was far from the action packed adventure I was hoping for. It’s a family friendly spot and gets quite busy. The water is also cold enough to give you a heart attack. I don’t think I would say it was the best beach in the world.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing place but I’m starting think that the Guardian writer might have had shares in the ferry company that takes you to the island! (only joking!)
What’s the best beach you’ve ever been to? What made it special?
What makes a good beach in general?
What do you like to do at the beach?