How Quickly Things Can Change One Hundred and Sixty Eight Hours Later

By Abi King | Make Me Smile

Jun 04

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.

How Quickly Things Can Change

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

How has your week been?


About the Author

Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on

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

    Abi King June 8, 2012

    Yep. They are very, very cool.

Ayngelina June 5, 2012

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

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

    Abi King June 8, 2012

    Glad to hear it!

Christy @ Technosyncratic June 5, 2012

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 King June 8, 2012

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

Matthew Karsten June 6, 2012

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

    Abi King June 8, 2012

    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!

Erica June 7, 2012

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

    Abi King June 8, 2012

    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!

Susan June 14, 2012

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

sofie November 14, 2012

Amazing, the sand scumptures!

Natalie T. November 16, 2012

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

Abi King December 6, 2012

Thank you both!

Comments are closed