I commented on the events of Catalonia Day, but there’s more! Riding the escalator to the subway the next day, what did I see, but a left over arrow from the demonstration. This lone survivor (dark pink, for equality) is now living on the wall of our apartment. I am very happy with my artifact of the demonstration. The tens of thousands of its companions (see previous post) have probably been recycled already.
To learn the suburban train system we took a trip to the beach, visiting Caldes d’Estrach, a town about 40 minutes ride northeast of downtown Barcelona. Getting there was the easy part. It took us almost as long to find out where to purchase our “Tarjeta Dorada” (Golden Card) that gives us a 40% discount on all train tickets all over Spain just because we are over 60. With that and assistance at the ticket machine to find the tab to use it (Other), we bought round trip tickets for 4.90€ each. We managed to miss the train while finding the platform, but the information people were helpful and showed us that another train departed the same place only 15 minutes later. Trains along the coast are rarely more than 20 minutes apart. The train station in Caldes d’Estrach is a few hundred yards from the beach.
The beach on a Monday.
The sand is full of tiny shells, miniscule limpets, mussels, scallops and sea urchins smaller than a drop of water. They look white in the sun, but at home, some were pink, lavender and striped in shades of tan and brown.
Yes, it turned out to be a nudist beach but no one minded us. It was Monday and even nudists were thin on the ground. We had our picnic, bought drinks and chips, beach combed, read books. It was great. I even went in the water, briefly. (Our chairs and umbrella cost 15€).
Beach combing (my favorite sport) is somewhat different here. This beach appears to be groomed every day, probably to make the beach less steep, but this churns up the shell. Most are small. I look for beach glass with the added bonus of beach ceramics here in the Mediterranean where people have been throwing debris in the sea for thousands of years. I threw back far more beach glass than I saved, but found some interesting bits. I also found a small rectangle of tile that we brought home to use as a soap dish. I saw a similar one in a museum shop for 7.50€ (score!).