Seated right along the border of France and Spain and flanked by gorgeous beaches, San Sebastian is a walhalla of fine dining and is a perfect getaway from France or Spain for a long weekend. My last stop along the northern coast of Spain, I took a morning bus from Santander to San Sebastian passing through Bilbao. I could have chosen to spend my time in the bigger Bilbao instead but I was ready for a more intimate and chic affair with San Sebastian.
When a village is often proclaimed as “most beautiful village”, I’d certainly like to check it out for myself. Researching on some of the quaint villages in the autonomous Cantabria region of Spain, I was attracted to Comillas as a visit for its epithet as ‘most beautiful’ and also because it housed one of the very few pieces of Gaudi’s architecture outside of Catalan. Set across the Atlantic coast and tucked in the hillocks of Green Spain, Comillas is about 50 kilometers west of Santander and is easily done as a day trip. The village was once a summer retreat for the aristocrats of Spain and I would learn why.
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.