Castles in the Sun
2006 – 1st Place at World Championships of Sand Scuplture: “I Shall Fear No Evil…”
Much to IT’s chagrin, summer will soon be drawing to a close. There’s still time for one last sunny fling, though, so this week our summer trilogy—successfully begun with the lowdowns on swimming pools and gelato—concludes with the highly anticipated third installment on … sand castles.
Now, we’re not just talking your run-of-the-mill overturned-plastic-bucket-type sandcastle. No, indeed. We here at Inside Traveler have our eyes on the (il)logical conclusion of building impermanent structures out of wet sand: sand sculpture festivals and competitions. Those who want more from their beach time than salty hair and a tan have worldwide options for a sculpturally enhanced waterfront experience.
The UK’s most celebrated seaside escape has been home to a granular Roman Empire since the June 1st opening of the World Sand Sculpture Festival Brighton, which runs until September 10th. The Lara Sand City outside the Turkish resort town of Antalya also features ancient themes, and will continue to host 30-by-50-foot sculptures, including Noah’s Ark and the Trojan Horse, until September 30th. Other festivals are currently ongoing in Pêra, Portugal (to September 20th) and Parksville, B.C., (to September 4th).
Baffled by how sand and water alone can be persuaded to maintain such complex shapes? IT sure is. But unlike your desk-bound bloggers, you travelers still have a couple of opportunities to watch the art’s masters in action this summer. Labor Day weekend will see Point Reyes National Seashore hosting its 25th annual Sand Sculpture Contest. And for the best of the best, head to Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., for the World Championships of Sand Sculpture. The competition runs from September 5th to 10th, with the sculptures staying on display until October 9th.
- Nat Geo Expeditions