Monday, 29 August 2011

Contrasting countryside

Spain is a country of amazing contrasts: between regions, local traditions and, not least, the countryside. From the dusty, arid sizzling south to the lush green of the cooler north. This weekend we headed north.

Heading north
It was extremely hot last week in Madrid, so a visit to the north was enthusiastically welcomed! It's incredible how the countryside changes before your eyes - to the north of Madrid the land is still flat and dry but once past Burgos (about 2 hours north) the differences are very apparent.

The regions that run along the top of the country, from Galicia above Portugal to the Basque Country and the French border area, are beautiful. They are steeped in tradition, the architecture is unique and the land sweeps from the deepest of valleys to the high mountain peaks. There are also rugged coastlines and sandy beaches.

We headed from Madrid to the region of Cantabria - how nice to see a river-bed with water actually running along it! This is almost impossible in August anywhere south of Madrid!

The wonderfully green fields, trees and the dry stone walls reminded me of England and came as a refreshing break from the intense sun and heat of the capital.

We came across a traditional reenactment of a mediaval battle, a beautiful village and picturesque valley and some interesting displays of rural life. But more about those during the week!

Hasta pronto!


  1. how beautiful and green it is!
    we were chatting to someone not long ago, from UK, who lived up in the north-west, and area of Spain i know nothing about. he was saying it's very beautiful.

  2. Wow Spain is a nice looking place and there I was thinking it was all dusty and dry, love the shot of the river bed, very nice, when I saw that last photo before I had read the text I thought it really was England, Spain does have amazing contrasts. Your blog is a very interesting change from America and England where most of the blogs I follow are based. Oh and I was just wondering what does Hasta pronto mean? I see it at the end of your posts.

  3. Wow, those green fields are gorgeous!!!

  4. I think that most people are surprised at how green the north of Spain actually is - perhaps it's a secret and I shouldn't be telling!
    Edward, 'hasta pronto' is literally 'until soon' ('see you soon' would be the closest translation) and, I hope, that those who read my posts will like them and return soon, so....'Hasta pronto!'