Plastic Sea

Destination: San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain

Travel Diary:

I grew up on the Bothnian Bay, and so it is that I have always loved the sea. The sounds of the water and the colors related to different seasons and the smell of salty sea air. And yes, that was probably the most difficult thing for me to accept when moving to Switzerland, that there is no sea anywhere nearby… somehow I’ve survived this lack of salty water so far, but I like to go to the places where it exists on my holidays.

As a family, we’ve traveled to Spain two times so far, to a little Mediterranean town nearby San Pedro del Pinatar. The place is full of British pensioners driving around with their rollators or electric wheelchairs. Both times we were undoubtedly the youngest people around… but who cares. There were the Mediterranean Sea and the sand and the smell of the sea. And there was a cute little beach bar just around the corner. We really didn’t need that much for a successful holiday. The kids loved to play in the sand and watch flamingos nearby. Naturally, swimming was the coolest thing on earth to do. We spent so much time in the sea that we almost turned into mermaids…

Anyway, something shocked me the second time around. There were four years between our two trips, and I must say I didn’t see much waste in the sea on our first trip. However, the second time around, the amount of plastic in the water was just stunning. I had to ask myself, whatever happened during these four years…? It was just plain sad. To walk in the water and suddenly feel something tangling around your ankles. To realize, it was just another piece of plastic. Devastating.

I mentioned what I’ve seen to friends of mine who live over there regularly, and they told me that now the Mediterranean Sea has developed a trash vortex. Everybody probably knows by now that we are drowning in plastic. But seeing it like this and seeing how much it had changed in such a short time made me sad. My dear beloved sea is drowning into plastic! If it continues, I will soon only be able to enjoy the sea by closing my eyes, hearing the sound of waves, and imagining the rest. Or maybe with all this waste floating around, even the sound will become plastic…?! What horrific thoughts!

Mar Menor, photo: Pixabay

Now I am fully aware I am not the best person to talk about environmental issues. I am the first to admit that my lifestyle is not the most climate-friendly, amongst other things. But. On this trip, I decided seriously to make some changes to how my family uses plastic, knowing that it is just a drop in the ocean, so to say… But maybe if we all take care of our part, we can actually change something. What do you think? I am going to go back to Spain for sure, sooner or later. And I hope to God that I will find my beloved sea in a better condition this time.

Traveler’s information:

Location: San Pedro del Pinãtar, Spain

Getting there and moving around: The closest commercial airport to San Pedro del Pinãtar is in Alicante. From there you can rent a car for your holiday if you like! I have never used public transportation in Spain, but if you’d like to try, you’ll find some useful information here .

Tourist Information available here website

The best things to do in San Pedro del Pinãtar:

Bookaholic’s slightly related reading tip:

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernst Hemingway