At the end of the block the city ended and the sea began. The sun had dropped now below the horizon, leaving the sea only slightly ruffled, rolling silver blue. A wide road half overgrown by weeds and grass ran along the cement sea wall in both directions. To the left were industrial buildings crouched on the shore with remains of piers sticking here and there from the water. To the right was the golden hotel, glowing on the open shore like an object from space just now dropped to earth. Four tall pine trees grew at the front door, obscuring it from view. Bloem guess they had once been ornamental bushes. The hotel was three stories tall, built from some kind of smooth pale stone that might have been golden in the proper sunlight, but was now fading. The ghosts of past visitors strolled in full view on the narrow beach between the hotel and the sea, speaking among themselves.