Somewhere out there is an horizon
While the pedants among you debate whether horizon, like holistic and historic, should take an “an” or an “a” because the stress of the word is on the second syllable, I decided to kill the time until Air Canada became a functioning airline to have a walk and try and find the legendary Torre de Calahonda. Actually, I’ll just come back from the walk, because I have thought of an interesting rejoinder to the opening gambit. Apparently, well, according to Bill Bryson, whose accuracy in all things pedantic I take as a given, the word “otter” in English used to be “notter”. So we would say “a notter” not “an otter”. You see? I give you entertainment and education in one fell swoop. Back to the walk. Keep up.
I say “legendary” because, while it is clearly visible from the beach (which for an ocean front fortification is part of the point), it clearly isn’t visible from anywhere else or at least anywhere else that I had seen. Indeed, I’d never even seen a sign for it, and the lady at the supermarket whom I asked pointedly about how to get to it (using signs and a piece of paper on which I drew said “torre”) shrugged her shoulders and said “tu tambien estas loco” which I assumed to mean “I don’t know, try the train station”. There is no train station either, I might have to go looking for that tomorrow, if I am still here.
So off I went, under the road, up the hill, along the beach, until I came to the ocean-facing tower. Then I carefully made my way up a track, where I found a sign saying “Torre de Calahonda” bent back so the only word visible was “Tor”. Assuming it pointed in the right direction, which was admittedly a mighty big assumption, I followed the path through some private property (“Privado? Lo ciento. No hablo español”) down a big hill and up another one until I came to a sign saying (you guessed it) “Torre de Calahonda”. Apparently, it was built in 1575 and given the name Lancón. It is also a “Bien de intéres cultural”, which I took to mean it is a part of either Spain or the region’s cultural heritage.
Excited, I looked for a path to get to it. It was definitely there, I could see it in the distance, shining like a beacon of light for the desperate, a sort of Calahonda Statue of Liberty. But could I get to it? No chance. Blocking all access to it were various private resorts, no doubt owned and operated by those masters of “I’m all right, Jack”, the English. Just how the Spanish feel about having part of their cultural patrimony blocked off by big walls saying “Private Property” is a moot point. I’ll have to go back and ask the lady in the supermarket.
At some point in my walk, I got over Liverpool’s crashing out of the Champions League last night. Mistakes happen, and while the game was won until Adrián cleared the ball with all the power of an arthritic grandmother who’d just knocked over her Zimmer frame, you have to score more than two of your 25 chances if you want to be taken seriously as a champion team. Still a work in progress, I think. And I am more excited about that than if we were the finished article.
Right, I had better go and see what the status of my flight is. If anyone from Air Canada is reading this – which is possible, because you are not answering emails or the phone lines – then pull your finger out.