On the beach
Trip Start Jul 15, 2007
197Trip End Jul 16, 2008
Late yesterday afternoon we decided to go down to the nearby beach for a swim. The kids and I put on our suits, and Amy grabbed a magazine. As we walked out of our little apartment building, we were confronted by the sight and smell of a pile of dog poop right in front of our door.
This was a dog mess of remarkable distinction. It was as vertical as a New York chef's entrée presentation, piled high and proud. It was more smelly than Jack's sandals. It was, in short, really nasty stuff. The kids and I detoured around it. Amy forged boldly ahead and stepped right in.
We made our way to the beach, trailing a fetid cloud of odor.
The term "beach" has a different meaning in Europe than in the U. S. Sand is optional. Our little beach is directly under the walls of the old city. It is all rocks. Big rocks in the water, small and medium rocks on the beach and underfoot. You can look down on it from the expensive restaurant where we had our unintended $400 lunch. The kids and I teetered over the mossy rocks and into the water, wearing our sandals to protect against broken glass. A local couple sitting nearby regarded us with evident horror. They clearly regarded this particular beach as a location for sitting, not swimming or wading.
As Jack and I assessed the prospects of swimming through a cave-like passage underneath the fortress walls, Katharine began to gather iron objects from under the water. First a length of pipe, then an angle iron. One by one she picked them up and tossed them up on the beach.
We had attracted quite an audience by this point. The cocktail-hour crowd on the walls above were ignoring the setting sun as they pointed at the bathing Hemphills below.
Alec slipped and fell, banging his knee on an underwater rock and starting to cry. Jack slipped and turned his ankle. Katharine retrieved a two-foot length of jagged rebar and added it to her pile of rusty metal. I looked over at Amy. She was busily scrubbing the dog poop off her sandals in the water ten feet from where we were wading, creating a spreading cloud of brown water.
We left the beach and went back for showers.