Spain, Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias - Story of my trip to Spain
TRIP TO SPAIN
Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias: the crisp air of Atlantic Spain
Pages 1 - 2 - 3"From looking at you so much and again, from the horizon to the sand,
slowly, from the snail to the clouds,
shine after shine,
astonishment after astonishment,
I gave you a name; the eyes
they attributed it to you, looking at you ... ».
Thus begins one of the most famous poems by Gerardo Diego, a citizen of Santander, on whose beautiful promenade there is a statue of him, "sitting" on a bench with his face facing the ocean, contemplating the beauties that we too have had a way discover during our comings and goings to the Atlantic coast.
Yes, because strong winds and gray clouds, the foam of the ocean waves and the low flight of the seagulls, green meadows and high and white cliffs, fjords and colorful fishing boats ... could be the typical elements of any country in northern Europe, and instead what we are going to tell you, is our short journey in the "hot, torrid and dusty" land of Spain .... which here radically changes its connotations, coloring itself with green and blue.
We spent 12 days visiting a part of the Atlantic coast of Northern Spain, 5 wandering among villages and beaches, and the rest in some cities; once the games were over, an extra couple of days available for the first part would have been much appreciated.
Travel period: August 16 - August 28, 2009.
Weather conditions: temperatures from 14 to 31 degrees, in general always very pleasant; alternation of splendid sunny days with hours of constant rain, windy noises.
The Autovia del Cantabrico is free, but only in some sections it is a motorway. For many kilometers you travel in one lane in each direction, there are very low limits, you pass intersections and roundabouts, so do the math well. for shifts!
Car rental: with Europecar (through GlobelCars broker: 173.00 euros including insurance coverage of GlobelCars, fortunately not used), collection at Santander airport, return at San Sebastian airport (no extra charge paid for "one way" rental).
Accommodations used(price per night): Hosteria Los Sauces (outside Santander): very small room, good buffet breakfast, owners a bit dry. 50 euros each with breakfast
Hotel Restaurant Prau Riu (Llanes): a little spartan, but the owner is very nice and helpful. 35 euros per person with breakfast (not buffet)
Hotel La Casona de Lupa (Cudillero): excellent 4-star hotel just outside the town, with an excellent buffet breakfast. 35 euros each with buffet breakfast.
Hotel Porto de Rinlo (Porto de Rinlo): small and clean, nice room, breakfast not buffet. 30 euros each with breakfast La casa de Madera (Mungia): it is unb & b, very nice and large room, very kind owner. 33 euros per head with breakfast
Pension Belles Artes (San Sebastian): great little pension, excellent owners, clean and nice room. No breakfast. 43 euros each
Hotel Abando (Bilbao): good 4 stars, centrally located. Excellent buffet breakfast. Seconded staff. 36 euros each with breakfast. Hotel Silken Coliseum (Santander): good 4 stars, central. Great buffet breakfast. 60 euros per head with breakfast.
Costa Santander - Santona rating: 5.5
The rain gives us a respite, and we arrive in the crowded village where we find parking for the car in the municipal parking lot.
Santillana is really pretty, a small medieval gem teeming with tourists, who walk the few streets overlooked by beautiful palaces and ancient houses, many more or less interesting shops, up to the scenic square on which stands the splendid Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana.
There are several legends related to the facades of the houses in the town, and it is fun to turn with the nose upwards to discover new ones, more or less funny. We stop in a nice deli shop, and enjoy some excellent chocolate bars with very strange tastes .... we weren't even in Switzerland!
We like Santillana a lot, but the weather is not cheap and we are already late.Santillana rating: 7.5
We leave the country to go to nearby Comillas, where in addition to some beautiful views of the beaches below, we take a look at Gaudi's only creation outside of Barcelona, the Capriccio. Finding it is not easy, from the coast road there are not many indications, so we go into the narrow streets of the town, which deserves a more in-depth visit.
Today used as a restaurant, the Capriccio can still be visited externally, and there is a souvenir shop inside. The building is very particular, all covered with tiles with colorful designs and in the classic style of the artist.
We leave Comillas and take the Autovia del Cantabrico towards Llanes, where we find our room for the night.
We have several problems finding the Prau Riu hotel, which should be close to the motorway exit, but due to work in progress, we have to take an incredible tour and we arrive only at 9:00 pm (thanks to the info left by a gentleman, otherwise we would never have gotten there). Luckily here the sun goes ananna late, you can still see very well, even if we are on the same Italian time zone. The very kind owner greets us and makes us sit in the room. A few minutes and we go down to the restaurant / pub of the hotel, where we have an abundant dinner.
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