Call me a romantic at heart but how enthralling is the idea of traveling through treacherous regions, navigating through miles and miles of sand in search of elusive lakes? In the modern era of adventure tourism, the word adventure is so loosely used that a bungee jump in a super safe place is categorized as adventure; where could I read of authentic traveler accounts with genuine adventures? My first introduction to such a swashbuckling adventurer was Peter O’Toole riding a camel in the vast expanses of the Arabian deserts with his beautiful agal in the movie Lawrence of Arabia fancied after the great British explorer T.E. Lawrence.
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!
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.
Cantabria is a strip of land sandwiched between the state of Asturias and the autonomous Basque region in Northern Spain. It is a region that abounds in nature’s wealth. I had been traveling in Asturias for a while and decided to move to its neighboring state with some sadness in my heart because Asturias had been delightfully beautiful, the people had been so good, I had made new friends as well, but as I had read in a café, you have to keep moving forward to keep your balance, its just like riding a bicycle! So I proceeded to Santander, the capital of Cantabria from Llanes in Asturias, on a morning bus expecting to see more of this criminally under explored part of Spain.