One Hundred and Sixty Eight Hours Later

This week, Union Jacks unfurled over the streets of London to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This week, the Olympic torch reached Mount Snowdon, tragedy struck in Nigeria and Mitt Romney become the official Republican candidate.

This week, for me, marked another extraordinary journey into Catalonia in northern Spain. Fresh from Morocco, with the sand of the Grenadines still scattered across my shoes, I revisited old friends, like Barcelona, and ventured into new territory by descending into damp and darkened cava cellars.

My notebooks and my hard drives now mirror my mind: brimming, buzzing and bursting with stories just waiting to be told.

On Monday, I watched these women sculpt sand in Barcelona. Since then, I’ve reunited with an old school friend, caught up with my now grown-up brother, travelled to Afghanistan through the images of Steve McCurry and dined on edible flowers.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting the Roca brothers again, to wait at the edge of the sea while fishermen sing songs from Havana and to soak in the luxury of Lloret’s Alva Park Hotel spa.

But what struck me as I returned to Barcelona today was just how quickly other things change.

On Monday, only a few shapes had emerged from this colossal block of sand. By Sunday, a whole orchestra had appeared.

One week, this week, every week. Somewhere, someone in the world is creating something beautiful.

Sand sculptures in Barcelona - conductor

Sand sculptures in Barcelona005

Sand sculptures in Barcelona006

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17 Responses to One Hundred and Sixty Eight Hours Later

  1. Camels & Chocolate June 4, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    I had to look closely to see if you were really telling the truth that these masterpieces were created from sand. Simply amazing!

    • Abi June 8, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      Yep. They are very, very cool.

  2. Ayngelina June 5, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Wow these are incredible, so sad they’ll never survive the rain.

  3. Raymond @ Man On The Lam June 5, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    These sure are purty!! And my week was just swell, thanks for asking. :)

    • Abi June 8, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      Glad to hear it!

  4. Christy @ Technosyncratic June 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    Sand sculptures are some of my favorite art. There’s so much intricate detail, and I just can’t believe the sand stays put like that. I’ve only had the opportunity to watch sand artists at work once or twice, but it was mesmerizing.

    • Abi June 8, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Plus you get a culture hit while lounging on the beach!

  5. Matthew Karsten June 6, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    Is it just wet sand? Or do they use some special mixture in the water? Very impressive.

    • Abi June 8, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Good question – for once I left them in peace and didn’t think to ask! From what I saw, it just looks like sand and water. There’s a man patrolling the artists with a hose, keeping the sand damp and adding a bit of moisture here and there whenever they ask for it. Now you’ve got me thinking…Off to investigate!

  6. Erica June 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    LOVE sandcastle sculptures. Thank you so much for capturing the details. I just love how fleeting and beautiful they are.

    • Abi June 8, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      I haven’t seen many of them – and certainly not on this scale! Time to up the ante the next time I’m let loose with a bucket and spade!

  7. Susan June 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Beautiful Photos! Found your site on Brendan’s Adventures Top 100. Can’t wait to read more about your journey.

    • Abi June 15, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Thank you!

  8. sofie November 14, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Amazing, the sand scumptures!

  9. Natalie T. November 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Wow! They look so real. I think the juxtaposition of the hotel in the background is interesting. It puts it in perspective. Cool shots!

  10. Abi December 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Thank you both!

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