“To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.” – Isaac Newton
It’s Monday morning and for those who might be sitting at their desks or trying to stay warm against the snow that sit outside, Nicola Arnold is here to make you jealous.
Our Bermudian wanderer is missing home, so this week she takes us around the world to visit beaches! So warm yourself with these images and plan your next holiday:
Has it really taken me almost a year of blogging to write about beaches? I come from Bermuda, for goodness sake, home of the pink sand and turquoise waters. You can illegally snatch some sand in a bottle if you visit a Bermuda beach (or inadvertently take some home in your shoes, swimsuit, suitcase… it gets eeeverywhere!).
What better time to think about beaches than when the weather in Canada takes a drastic turn towards the 0°C (32°F) mark? [Sorry, Bermudian/American friends, as I have converted to Celcius-ism given my years of living in Canada and Europe... there's no going back now!] I was actually happy there will be a high of 12°C on Sunday… until I saw that the current temperatures in Bermuda are around 22°C.
So, beaches. Let’s think warm, breezy thoughts…
I’m lucky – I grew up on a 21sq. mile island, surrounded by ocean. It’s not a big mystery as to why we often had visitors in the summer months! I know that proximity to an ocean beach is not the norm. So when we don’t live in the tropics with a beach down the road, and we’re not sitting in a hammock under the palm trees, where do we go?
In Toronto we have The Beaches, bordering Lake Ontario. The islands and coastline in southern Croatia, known as the Dalmatian Coast, lead out to the Adriatic Sea (across from the boot of Italy). You could also find a beach in an enclosed area, like a bay or a harbour. What about when you make a special trip to Scotland to see the Scottish Highlands and the Loch Ness Monster? You may find yourself on a beach on a loch – whether you brave a quick dip or not!
Do beaches automatically bring up images of the Caribbean, Hawaii or Fiji in your mind? Perhaps you start dreaming of that trip you once did along the Great Ocean Road in southeastern Australia? Somewhere warm, tropical and sunny, right? For the most part, we think of bright summer days, cooling off at the beach. Summer holidays, a weekend vacation to the coast, or a much-needed winter getaway. Would you ever think about the beaches along the South African coastline? Probably not… but South Africa offers more than safaris and game reserves!
And let’s not forget types of beaches. I grew up with sandy beaches, and even with sand there is variety – pink, white, grainy, fine…etc. On beaches elsewhere, the sand is red, white, black, grey, or some other rainbow mix. Further still, some beaches have no sand at all. Think pebbles, rocks, or stone stabs.
Story time! Once upon a time…
Okay, okay: In 2005, I met a fellow foreigner while studying abroad at high school in France. We were in the same exchange program, and we became good friends. I was excited that she was a Canadian, from Ontario, as I was headed to university in Ontario in the fall of 2005. During our spring break, we joined 45 other exchange students on a bus trip through Spain, France, Italy and Austria. In the south of France, she and I dipped our feet in the ocean as it was a sunny day in the French Riviera. I joked that I had been landlocked in northern France for 7 months (my longest time away from Bermuda at that point), and she vowed to come and visit me in my sub-tropical island of paradise.
Fast forward 3 years: In May 2008, my friend and I reconnect at the airport in Toronto to fly to Bermuda… she was my first friend from Canada to visit!! My family and I made sure to show her the best of Bermuda summers – the rum cake company (free samples!), the ducking stool (she was chosen as a victim to be dunked), taste testing rum swizzles at Friday happy hour, cross-island ferry rides, swimming in the crystal caves, and, of course, THE BEACH.
**While putting this post together, I realized that there was too much to cover all at once… Bermuda will be Part II of the beach blog**
Categories : Nicola Arnold's Columns