Closer to the centre of town is the Hotel Mercure. This building is quite astounding, built to look like a ocean liner. Usually when I see buildings shaped like boats they turn out to be sailing club headquarters. Not this one. A hotel.
It makes our hotel look very boringly normal. No complaints about it though. Our hotel just has older buildings behind it. Then there is the clock tower down at the far end of the promenade. Pleasing in a geometrical sort of fashion.
Then there is the strangely geometrical clock tower - all straight lines.
It has been a good day for going walk-about. Blue sky and sunshine and rolling waves coming up the beach. If you can see that far, that is. I have had to put up all my life with comments about the walk out to the sea at Southport, where I grew up. This beach makes that one look like a meagre strip of sand. Absolutely superb in the sunshine today, I bet it's quite majestic in winter storms.
Because it is Saturday, the roundabout was operating for the children. No school It must have felt like summer holidays.
Well, this is our last full day here. One more game tonight and then one tomorrow morning. (The chess player drew last night's game, by the way, in record time - well, record for him!) After the final game and probably some kind of closing ceremony, we will up sticks and head for Vigo, by train. We have worked it all out: slow train from Figueira da Foz to Coimbra B, super fast train from Coimbra B to Oporto and then one of the only two trains per day from Oporto to Vigo. Once there, it's just a short(ish) walk up the hill to our flat.
Mind you, I am not sure we should go to Vigo. Galician friends on Facebook have alerted me to an armed robbery that took place there yesterday. Someone tried to rob a branch of Abanca, one of the new banks which have opened in the last year or so as a result of the various mergers and reorganisations. In the ensuing chaos, of the robbery not the reorganisation, one policewoman and one of the robbers were shot dead and other police were injured. Someone from the Galician government commented on the fact that the police were not wearing bullet-proof vests. But in most European countries I don't think it's a routine thing to wear them unless you are on a special mission. If you just go to investigate an incident in the early afternoon you might well not be prepared for that. Desperate times.
We shall go carefully and quietly up the hill to our flat.