Ben and I are four days into our three-week wandering of Spain (and eventually, parts of Portugal). Every day, I am bowled over by the beauty of this country, as well as the generous warmth of the people we’ve encountered along the way.
We left our house in France on Monday and arrived a mere two hours later in the Basque seaside town of San Sebastián (Donostia, in Basque) – one of the many benefits of living near the southwest border. San Sebastián is exquisite. Among many things, it is known for its delectable Basque pintxos, which can be found on the counters of almost every bar throughout the city. These bite-sized creations typically cost between 1€ and 3€ a piece and are truly some of the most delicious food we’ve ever eaten.
We spent two blissful days walking around the city and hiking nearby hills, our explorations punctuated every few hours with a pintxos break.
On Wednesday, we drove along the stunning coast of northern Spain and stopped for the night in Santillana del Mar, a picturesque medieval town in the Cantabria region.
The 12th century cloister at the center of town housed an amazing animatronic miniature of the Passion of Jesus.
Currently, I write from our rural guesthouse in Covadonga, a minuscule Asturian mountain village in the Picos de Europa.
At the top of the mount above our lodgings, one cannot help but notice the Basilica of Santa Maria la Real perched among the trees and tolling the knell of parting day every 15 minutes.
When we hiked up to the cathedral earlier this afternoon, we discovered a chapel built into a mountainside cave where, it is said, the Virgin Mary appeared in 722 A.D., foretelling the Christian Reconquista of Spain.
Covadonga is the most beautiful place, and I don’t want to leave.