Here is another. Just like the island of peacocks, this one is a landmark, but of a different kind. Built as a home for 269 households, and 362 cars, with 47 floors above and 3 below the ground, this 192 meters tall tower was never inhabited. Designed with the intention of being the highest residential building in Europe, it stands here as a monument of an unsuccessful business, a symbol of miscalculation and incompetence. Silence, heat and surreality of this wondrous scene make me feel dizzy. I walk around it slowly, desperate to embrace it. I can’t decide what moves me more, people who live in buildings or buildings that people abandon.
I wonder who lives in these buildings, and what their view is like. I approach people, hoping to get a few questions answered. Why here, what here, where else?
Girls look friendly but are not in the mood to talk. Wasted young men ask me if I am a lesbian and if not why do I look like one. The loudest of them shows me his pants. He has pissed himself, and they yell that he will piss on me too.
A woman who I stop because of her stereotypical tourist look, going back from the beach, tells me she is a teacher, coming from the Netherlands every year to visit her parents who spend winters here. She tells me about a good Chinese restaurant, shows me the window from which her family waves at us, and a bit later sends me an email with a view from their balcony.
An interestingly dressed couple rejects me roughly.
Another one tells me about their motorhome, trips through Europe, hidden places and costs of life.
A local teenage couple with no knowledge of English tells me their favourite spot is Mc Donalds.
A guy follows me and asks me to join him for a drink. He is a waiter from Morroco and has just started working in the hotel next to mine. He is here because the season is long. He wants to save money and bring his family here. He himself travels for new experiences and new friends.
They all come for the sun and sea, they don't mind the buildings, their only concern are loud humans.
I choose a hiking path of medium difficulty, because I am short of time and the right kind of clothing. Soon it turns out that it is much easer, paved with asphalt and pretty flat. I get excited by (the end of a road) cul de sacs, (a) dead-ends prescribed by city planners. I notice I don't dare take shortcuts through the rocks, because I feel too alone. It seems the further I go, the less people I see. The masses stay at hotel pools, promenades, theme parks and the main beach. A few groups of mostly young couples climbed over one easy rock to isolate themselves from the crowd. A few rocks further a group of nude enthusiasts have the cutest beach. It is not the easiest to approach, but once you do the reward is precious. After that, it becomes wild, windy and steep. The sea remains far below the hills. Only a few lonely bodies are seen in the distance. I walk for two hours, knowing that there is an end, marked by the 17th century tower. The closer I get, the more predictable the landscape becomes. It feels familiar. I am relaxed because I am almost there. I arrive. The tower appears like any other tower. Suddenly, an impressive cliff previously invisible, snaps in front of my eyes.
At any moment nature is just few meters beneath our feet. We suppress it so well, that we need to go through massive ceremonies of transition to finally reward ourselves with some big discovery of it. Just like culture, which we seek to move us with variety and 'egzotika', nature is always in our neigbourhood. Instead of searching for the extraordinary, I forever move for the surprises.
On my way back I start to pick out nearby rocks, both from the cliffs and those scattered on the path, happy to expand my stone collection. The only proof I was in Spain comes in these shades of yellow. On the other side, what appears to the eye to be a landscape is a mere place of production for a future stage. Those areas that are seemingly left untouched, have a role in the same machinery. Their ostensible pureness is a part of dirty construction. They are left intentionally as remote zones of contrast and placeholders of desire. Desire for joy, and the sun and sea, and dance and music and sex; pleasure and leisure.
I decide to skip nightlife, even though it is enormously popular. On my last evening, around 9pm, while it is still early for real clubbing, I take a walk through the so-called strip. After a few seconds of trying to tempt me inside, a friendly bouncer chats with me in front of the night club. He is surprised that I know where Stonehenge is. He doesn't know that there was a war in Siberia. When I mention Yugoslavia it goes a bit easier, still, he is too young to care. I tell him about some young men I've just seen crazily wasted, laying in vomit with faces covered in blood. He thinks I am tough because I dare to walk around alone. I wonder, how much one needs to be suppressed and exploited at home, in order to search for such a dark, self destructive outlet as the only achievable illusion of freedom. On the other hand, could it be that a few of us who have the chance to endlessly search for beauty, do not know what real exhaustion is.