November. It’s my birthday month, and as always I always look forward to its coming. I remember the best parts; friends and celebrations; crisp air and crunchy leaves; and being cocooned in blankets. But what I always forget, is that it is almost always completely overcast, and five days in, I am already wishing for some blue, blue skies. So I’m trying to get some secondary vitamin D by looking at photos from summer, and I thought I’d share some of the sunshine.
These are from my trip to Northern Spain, in the mountains of Cantabria, where I tagged along, last minute, on my parents holiday. Due to the last minute booking, I had very little knowledge of where we were actually going, so I relied on my Dad’s skill in holiday booking and hoped for the best.
I slept the entire plane journey and was prepared to wake up to beautiful blue skies, but alas, the moment we stepped off of the plane, we were surrounded by thick fog. The next step was to drive to our accommodation, which involved a heavy amount of twisty roads climbing higher and higher up into the peaks. Not that we could see a thing! The fog was so thick there was little to be seen past a few feet.
It was not until the morning that the view was revealed to us. And wow, what a view it was. The mountains were absolutely spectacular, and so varied! You would turn a corner and there would be an entirely different landscape before you.
We had a little cabin, a converted cattle barn, situated right at the peak of one of the mountains, and really, I had no need to leave given the view. What was striking about the area was the its sheer domesticity. Up and down the hills farmers were cutting grass with gigantic scythes and hiking up sheer mountain faces herding goats. Primarily the area is known for its beef, so a common sound was the chiming of bells as the farmers led their cattle around the mountains.
We spent most of our time going for walks and hikes, as my Dad didn’t feel much up to driving more on the roads. The area, however, is famous for its huge collection of caves, including those that show evidence of people from the Palaeolithic period, some of which still have cave paintings. We were able to visit one nearby, where we were given a tour explaining the lifestyle of the people, as well as evidence of the bears that used to live there.
Those who know me will vouch that food is probably one of my favourite components of any holiday. However, the area didn’t quite match my tastes as many of the local dishes included food such as salt cod, eels and tripe. However, their dish cocido montañes, was delicious, and my favourite, churros con chocolate was, as always, heavenly.
Overall, a fantastic little trip, and some great memories to hold onto when it begins to get a little bleaker.