• Cassie Hintz

FIESA: City of Sand (Photo Tour)

It felt like we had stepped onto an alien planet. As far as the eye could see, massive beige carvings reached to the stars. A sense of eeriness settled in the air.


Aliens

Aliens?

The eeriness subsided, however, upon realizing that the carving next to me was of Tupac.


Tupac

Tupac: The rose that grew from sand?

We weren’t on another planet – we were at FIESA, the International Sand Sculpture Festival and the “largest sand city” in the world. Located in the Algarve, in southern Portugal, FIESA is definitely a unique experience. The festival has been held annually since 2003, and features a different theme every year. The theme was music when I went in 2016.


David Bowie

David Bowie


Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa


Bob Marley

Bob Marley


Freddy Mercury

Freddy Mercury

Besides the artistry behind the project, the sheer scale of FIESA is what makes it impressive. More from the FIESA website:

The sand is hand-carved by a group of sculptors, of various nationalities, exploring different sculpting techniques, producing original pieces that stand out by their magnitude, technique and aesthetics. FIESA is regarded as the largest event of its kind in the world as it uses 40,000 tonnes of sand, covering 15,000 m², with some sculptures reaching 12 metres in height, reproducing in amazing detail representations of people, objects and different scenarios. FIESA.org

Massive.


Amy Winehouse

Larger-than-life Amy Winehouse



punk

Punks.


Elvis

The King.


Broadway

Broadway tribute



I visited the sand-city with my parents, for my dad’s birthday. They were visiting me in Lagos for a couple of weeks, and my dad kept pointing out the posters for it, hinting “I wouldn’t mind going to that”.


Fiesa.org

Based on the sign, I had little idea what to expect.

My mom and I weren’t as enthused as my dad, but we went for his birthday, and we had a ton of fun. We were virtually the only people there, amplifying the feeling of being on another planet.


beer

We were pretty excited when we found out they sell beer.

I enjoyed interacting with the sculptures.


We’re all mad here.

Dancing with the sculptures.


Broadway dreamz.

And mimicking the sculptures.