I’ve been absent from the blog for a while because I’ve been holidaying in the Picos Mountains in Spain.
Anyway, I thought it’d be nice to do a quick photoblog of the time I spent there (Santander’s park might have to get its own post, because I took far too many photos).
We stayed in a wonderful house in Los Llanos, just down the hill from a beautiful old village called Mogrovejo, in a valley surrounded by mountains.
Favourite places that I visited:
Potes is the town closest to Los Llanos and on Mondays it has a really good market that sells lots of local cheeses, freshly baked bread (and some food not dissimilar to a pasty) and sweets. Most of the shops seem to sell the standard non-useful tourist gifts (as well as a selection of locally made alcoholic drinks and sweets), but the ferreterias (hardware/ironmongers shop) seemed to have some quite interesting and useful things in them (including massive tea mugs and really cheap tools).
Mirador del Oso, San Glorio, Collado de Llesba (Cantabria). You get some brilliant views of the mountains from this spot and it makes a great place to have a picnic.
The Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana is really pretty and worth a quick look. The highlight of that place for me is, perhaps oddly, finding a live baby owl in one of the bins and watching as someone told some passing nuns (who also seemed a little surprised by the the owl).
Fuente Dé is stunningly beautiful. A few minutes in a cable car (or “teleferico”) gets you right up in to the mountains and from there, you’re free to explore the paths as you wish. About 20 minutes walk gets you to the refuge, where there’s a small cafe (often surrounded by a few opportunistic horses).
Peninsula de la Magdalena, Santander. This is the best park I have ever been to and it’s all free. There’s a great play area, a beach (which you can choose to access via slide), woodland, castles, pirate ships and even a mini-zoo with seals, sea lions and penguins. Unfortunately it was a bit overcast on the day we were there, but we still had a great time.
A few days ago I went for a walk on North Sands beach in Salcombe. When I got there the tide was out, which meant I could get some really nice photos of the beach and the castle. Salcombe is a lovely in winter; out of season the the beaches are often quiet and empty and, although it’s cold, there’s still lots of fun to be had searching for (and photographing) all of the little interesting plants and animals hiding around the rockpools!
The really nice thing about this beach is that when the tide is this low, you can walk around to the left and find a nice old castle:
I should warn you that there are “NO ENTRY” signs all around castle because it is a ruin and the walls aren’t guaranteed to be structurally stable or safe. Here’s a bit of background information quoted from wikipedia’s article on Salcombe Castle though:
“The castle is thought to have been constructed originally during the reign of Henry VIII, to defend the Kingsbridgeestuary against French andSpanishpirates. It was the last place to hold out in the Royal cause against the victorious Parliamentarian troops of Oliver Cromwell in theEnglish Civil War. Sir Edmund Fortescue was ordered to hold it in 1643, when nearby Plymouth rose against the king; he rebuilt the castle at a cost of £135 6s 11d, and gave it the name “Fort Charles”. The castle was besieged from 15 January to 7 May 1646, and surrendered then only because it became clear that all other royalist strongholds had been overrun; the garrison were allowed to withdraw with their colours flying. After the Civil War the castle was “slighted” (ruined) on the orders of Parliament as it was “too dangerous” to allow it to remain.”
Anyway, after that brief history lesson (and to finish) here’s a picture of a some inquisitive ducks. They seemed to be having a pretty good time down by the water’s edge.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures! Feel free to comment – I’m happy to answer any questions or just have a nice chat!