From coast to coast

I spent the summer the way I like to: far from Madrid. When I have spent time here in the summer, it’s always been fun and full of great cultural activities, but I need to get away from the pollution and the noise once in a while.

This summer was a big fat Pyrenees sandwich on coastal bread. I started at the beginning of July in Cantabria and Asturias, two jewels of the northern coast of Spain, and ended up in late August on the Costa Brava, two hours north of Barcelona.

Random thoughts and notes from these coastal spots:

1) Hydrangea are everywhere in both Asturias and Cantabria in the summer and they’re gorgeous.

2) Tip for travelers to Santander: the local train station (FEVE), the national train station (Renfe), and the bus station are all right next to each other. The bus station has left luggage lockers. It’s a traveler’s dream. (Why couldn’t more cities be like this?)

3) Check out Playa Guadamía and also Playa de Ballota and Playa de Andrín (next to each other) near Llanes in Asturias.

4) Barcelona is great for wandering (but avoid Las Ramblas). I re-discovered Plaça George Orwell in the Barri Gòtic with the added bonus of a delicious vegan spot on the corner.

5) The Costa Brava is full of Dutch people. In case you were wondering.

6) The coves in Costa Brava are lovely, but don’t expect solitude (even the nude beach was packed!). Would make a good coastal hiking destination in a shoulder season as there are lots of trails.

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