Actually, it’s not really hidden. I’m sure most Asturians know where it is and what it’s got going on for it. My host family has a house in Pancar, a little residential area right next to the better known Llanes, a town on the coast in eastern Asturias. One of my posts from earlier in the semester was about my travels east through Asturias one weekend with my host mom, but we never made it all the way to Llanes, until a few weekends ago. And it was great!
We left one Friday after I finished class, ate lunch and took a siesta (naturally). We arrived in the afternoon at their house nestled into the side of a hill:
Apparently their friend built it for them. It’s complete with lemon/orange trees:
A llagar for crushing apples and making their own homemade sidra (and as you know by now, I LOVE sidra):
And some of the asturcones, or Asturian horses, that my host dad breeds and raises:
After we settled in and ate something, my host mom and I took Lluna for a walk as the sun was setting:
Later that night, we went out for dinner in Llanes with Berta, my host mom’s sister, and her husband Ángel. There was plenty of sidra, Spanish chitchat (most of which I couldn’t follow) and, of course, FOOD. We had patatas bravas (potatoes with a red tomato sauce that may or not be spicy), merluza (breaded and fried hake), more fried potatoes with peppers on top and a dish that, although I can’t remember the name of it, had corn-based pancakes, for lack of a better word, minced meat and fried eggs. Boy oh boy was all of it delicious. And everyone was ‘full’ after a little bit so I ended up eating most of it. I’m actually afraid to step on the scale after all I’ve been eating.
Anyway, we hit the sack early that night (around 11 or 12) so we could get up early and see the beaches around Llanes. We started off with a little beach well off the beaten path in Valle Andrín. In fact, it was so off the beaten path that we had to drive down a road too narrow for even one car all the while passing other drivers, a funeral and a field of cows:
We eventually got there, though:
But we didn’t stay long. Asturias has a beaches like this and we had a lot to see, so we hit the bricks almost as soon as we got there. We drove back on the same tiny road we drove in on and stopped at a mirador, a lookout point, right on the coast and the edge of the valley. The view in person was even more incredible than in these photos:
Afterwards, we saw a golf course and went to the beach in a town called Cué. It was really small but it has to be my favorite beach to date. It’s surrounded by rocky ‘cliffs’ I’ll call them and apparently the tide is normally so high that the beach isn’t visible. However, just like I’ve been extremely lucky with the weather in Asturias, I was lucky enough to see the beach during low tide:
And there’s Lluna and my host mom, also loving Cué:
Afterwards, we stopped at a few beaches in the town of Llanes. Here’s Toró:
And here’s Sablón:
We finished the tour by walking a little on El Paseo de San Pedro, or Saint Peter’s Path, a stretch of land right on the coast that juts out into the ocean, offering spectacular views of the sea, the mountains and Llanes itself:
We went back to the house to eat lunch with Berta, took Lluna and her daughter (?) Trufa for a walk and left later that night.
The thing about this place is that, because it sits at the eastern end where Asturias comes to a point, there is very little space between the mountains the border the province to the south and the ocean that borders it to the north. In short, here, you get the best of both worlds:
No wonder Asturias is often called Paraíso Natural, a Natural Paradise. With a great weekend exploring the beauty Spain has to offer behind me, I returned to Oviedo to attend class for a few days before my week and a half trip for Semana Santa. Stay tuned to hear about my travels through Paris, Rome and Barcelona!