Following our evening meal in Fuerteventura one night, we took a stroll to El Campanario shopping centre opposite our hotel, and climbed the bell tower. While nowhere near skyscraper dimensions, the tower is the tallest building for miles around, offering the best panoramic view you can get of Corralejo; the mountain to the west, the town to the north, the sand dunes to the east, and the barren lunar landscape stretching endlessly to the south.
While we were up there, the clock struck 8pm and the bells, exposed only a couple of metres above our heads, began to chime. As expected, the noise was deafening, the effect magnified by the surprise, and the sound went right through me, shocking me to the core, to the extent that I had a minor (and I hate this expression, but my literary toolbox offers no alternatives) out-of-body experience.
For a split second I felt like the tower was collapsing around me, and as much as I wanted to reach out and grab the railing behind me to steady myself, I simultaneously believed that if I did reach out, the railing would have crumbled and I would have fallen to the square below.
I've been to music concerts, I've been to football matches and theme parks, but never have I heard a noise as all-consuming as this. After the first couple of chimes I grasped my bearings and managed to survive the next six, but it was quite an experience. Well worth it for these views though: