Sitges, a coastal town in the Catalonia region of Spain, became our primary home for the week. Hills surround the area, and the streets are illuminated at night by shops, churches, restaurants, and homes. Seventeen sand beaches line the deep blue waters, some of them with climbable rocks rising above the waves close to shore.
Right from the beginning, my cousins and I had the resolve to take a real swim in the sea, since even as we waded in with shorts and t-shirts, we could see vibrant sea life flitting about the sand and rocks. The water was so inviting, provoking curiosity in all of us as to what lived under the surface.
The Friday before our departure, June 24th, we headed out to the beach in the late morning. We only actually had four pairs of goggles between seven of us, but we walked to a small convenience store in the downtown area and managed to find a few more. It was a bit of a miracle that they worked as they did, because a big part of me expected them to break and be useless.
The sun was harsh that day, the harshest it had been all week, and we struggled even in the lightest of clothing. The sand itself was the worst, though, and I couldn’t even begin to set a bare foot down.
But the water was perfect that day, and the few seconds I had to be on scalding sand were worth it because the cool waves soothed my burning toes and heels, welcoming me. Of course, as soon as I fully submerged myself, I realized that it was absolutely freezing, but I got used to it.
Being in the sea reminded me how much I adore swimming. It’s been so long since I’ve spent that much time underwater, and the added bonus of seeing the fish and plants and perfect shells amplified it even further. When we swam from one rock formation to the next, the waves constantly altered my direction. They were not harsh– rather, they simply made me realize that if I wanted to get anywhere, I would have to relax into them and work around the changing tides.
Never have I ever wished more for a waterproof camera.
After letting the water roll off skin and evaporate from hair in the sun, we went home. I was so, so ready for a long shower.
But as soon as we got home, we all jumped straight into the pool.