After three months in France, we *finally* made it to Spain a few weeks ago! And we took along one of my best friends, also called Sarah, as our first guest in the van. It was a bit of a squeeze with the three of us but 100% worth it for her wonderful company!
As we drove towards Picos de Europa National Park, the landscape changed from brown fields to tall mountains capped with snow. We suddenly found ourselves on a winding road through the mountains, following the course of a busy river. It was a beautiful route.
We had passed a multitude of hotels and businesses with “oso” in their names, which is Spanish for bear, when one of us asked the fateful question… “Wait, are there BEARS in Spain?!” A quick Google search later and it turns out that yes, there are indeed Spanish bears! They are called Cantabrian brown bears and are endangered and shy, and so we sadly didn’t spot any on our short trip in Cantabria.
After a few hours of driving, we parked up for the night in the mountains. It was bitterly cold but we tried to get snuggly with our blankets and hot chocolates!
Suddenly, we could hear a man shouting “Hey! Hey! Hey!” He was getting steadily louder and never paused for breath in his chanting. We gave each other a look then opened the door and peered out into the dark.
We were parked next to a bridge over the river and one of the street lights illuminated a parade of goats trotting down the street. As they got closer we could hear their bells and see the giant dog guarding and guiding them to their home for the night. It was a wonderful sight!
We settled down for sleep and woke in the morning, ready to visit the Fuenta Dé cable car to take us up one of the mountains. It was a very quick ride up (about 5 minutes), but was pretty expensive. We decided it would be worth it for the views and it had snowed so we made the trip anyway. It was gorgeous at the top, especially with the snow. We had fun playing in the snow and sliding down the hills on our bums! A day of being children again essentially!
We were not expecting snows in Spain though so we definitely were not dressed properly for the cold. We slipped and slided our way up the top of the mountain, though at one stage a kind Spanish lad helped pull us up a mini slope with one of his ski poles!
It was a couple of days that I’ll always remember and I think it was my favourite place of Spain so far…