This week’s challenge is to imagine a place which combines the mystery of the ‘Twilight Zone’ with the humour of ‘Fawlty Towers’ along with a large dose of surrealism.
This, dear readers, was the experience I had with my husband James a few years ago in a hotel on the Puglian coast, near Giovinazzo.
Arriving late one night from Bari airport, and laden with luggage, we were checked in and escorted to the lift which rattled up to the third floor.
Our room was fine and had a view of pine trees and other hotel buildings.
A group of cats miaowed from ground level and up above we could see the moon gleaming over the sea.
The following morning, breakfast saw a scene not far removed from the zoo at feeding time.
A large group of entitled pensioners pushed past one another to reach the blessed breakfast goodies.
Somewhat swamped by all this, we hastily gulped our vittles and decided to explore.
To our delight, a pathway led past a cat family, complete with kittens, which obviously belonged to the hotel and were fed by a kindly hotel guard.
Passing Oleander and taking in the October scents, we reached the pinnacle of our experience – the most surreal private beach you could possible imagine.
Here, not only did we see the remnants of seaside past, with parts of an old wooden pier, but an impressive statue of Jesus stood guard, arms outstretched, from the shore.
Shower constructions dotted the beach, and long forgotten deckchairs were stacked behind a nearby outdoor pool.
It was October and autumn was setting in, with the bronzes and greens of fading summer.
The beach was deserted each and every day (and wasn’t a small beach at that).
We began to see it as our own domain, observing a few octopus divers and the odd cruise liner roll by.
The sea was limpid and pristine with tiny Bream darting hither and thither.
This isolated outpost really captured our imaginations, though lunch became a memory come mid-October.
Expedition food survival was a necessity.
Like a strange dream, in a twilight world.