Having traveled through the slightly off the beaten path of Northern Spain, I thought it might be useful to pen down some practical information on how to travel through this part of the vast and beautiful country of Spain. I often found more information on the bigger and more popular cities of Spain but found it a little difficult to get easy information on this part. Its my humble attempt to list a few things that might be useful to someone planning to travel here someday!
There is so much to tell about the beaches of Asturias but I guess they are better expressed in pictures as words will certainly fall short. I made a stop in the delightful coastal town of Llanes in Asturias, Spain which is blessed with over thirty beautiful beaches. I explored the rugged coastline around it cycling along its sandy beaches, feeling the breeze of the cold Atlantic ocean on my face and the warmth of the people in my heart, as the ocean raged against the dramatic cliffs in the backdrop of green meadows. I leave a few memories in photos…
On the wee hours of a fine misty morning, I found myself on the way to the Picos de Europa National Park battling the chill of the morning by snuggling into a warm sweater and sipping a coffee to warm myself. In what was supposedly a very warm month in the rest of Spain, the story in Green Spain was another. As my bus ascended the green mountain ranges, the fine curtains of mist were replaced by a light patter of drizzle. Frantically I cleared the moist from the window to not lose sight of the intense hues of the green around me and to catch the first glimpse of the turquoise blue of the lake I was heading to.
There are places you have heard someone talking about or you have read about them and say “Hey this is something I’d like to see for myself” and that’s how this trip happened. A few months ago I had read a travel article back from the late 90’s about traversing the northern coastline of Spain and the pictures and the writing created a desire in me to explore that tiny part of the world myself. I had not visited Spain before and if Spain conjures up images of Flamenco dancers, guitars and parched Moorish lands with Arabic influences, I was heading to another little known part of Spain – the Green Spain. The moors had to wait for another visit. So when I had the opportunity to go to this exquisite part of the world, I jumped at the chance.
Not many would know that before Amsterdam became the hub as we know it today, a city just a 15 minute train ride away was actually the original capital of Netherlands. By Netherlands’ high standards, Haarlem has very few canals; so eventually as the importance of ports increased, the capital moved to Amsterdam and that is precisely the reason why traces of the medieval era are quite common to stumble upon in this charming city. In the few days I spent here, I was truly smitten by the wonder called Haarlem.