Cangas de Onis, Picos de Europa National Park, Santillana del Mar, Santander

This morning we set off into the foothills of the Picos de Europa, a National Park encompassing spectacular mountain and gorge scenery. Our first visit was to the holy cave of Covadonga, a shrine to Pelayo, who achieved the first Christian victory over the Moors in 722. There we visited both the shrine and the church (photos.) Next we  went  to the town of  Cangas de Onigas to see the unique Roman bridge and have morning coffee.  It was also a chance to buy some of the artisanal agricultural products of the region, notably the cheese.  We then continued to Santillana del Mar, called the most beautiful village in Spain. Here we had lunch and a friend and I tried the local specialities of fava bean stew and cod in tomato sauce.  Both were delicious.  Afterward we walked through the cobblestone streets with stone houses decorated with carved heraldic symbols until we reached the church square which seemed to be on the edge of some farms. I attach some photos taken in the town.  After this lunch break we drove along the corniche road, with views of the Costa de Cantabria to reach the beach resort of Santander.  I took a walk around the town for several hours.  It is a beach town but does not have much of historical interest except for the Palacio de la Magdalena which can be seen in the distance from the hotel. There are several museums but I did not have time to go to them.


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