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Friday, 29 July 2011

Changing gear

We went to Cantabria, in Northern Spain for our holiday. It's on the Atlantic coast and it's a very mountainous region. We stayed on a campsite, but it was cheat's camping because we had a little cabin with its own bathroom and kitchenette. My favourite spot was our balcony and it was here that I set up my little still lifes. A kilo of white peaches from the market, a three euro metre of spotted fabric, my watercolours and a little morning sunshine...I could feel the tension rolling away. There is something very relaxing about being on a campsite too (especially when you're not sleeping on the ground!). All those morning rituals that you can savour rather than dash through as fast as possible. Here is the view from our cabin:

That is the sea through the trees, with lots of little boats bobbing up and down upon it. And the nearest town, San Vicente de la Barquera, half a mile away over a long and ancient bridge. The beach was just two minutes away from our hut. It was a perfect setting, but we did just wish for a bit more sunshine. The climate was a little too similar to our own. But we did have some lovely days and we certainly made the most of them.

When the sun wasn't out, and we were unable to swim, surf or sunbathe, we went inland, and found some beautiful old towns. Places such as Comillas, which was only a few kilometres away.

This old tiled building (below) was falling down, but it was beautiful.

It was covered with these amazing tiles. We strolled into town and found some interesting shops:

There were very few antiques shops or shabby chic in this area of Spain (probably to my family's immense relief). This place was about the only one I came across - and it was terribly expensive. Nice to browse, however. And I do love this shade of pigeon grey.
There was some amazing Gaudi architecture in this little place, but it was one of those days when everyone was feeling a bit scratchy, and somehow an expedition to a Gaudi palace just didn't hit the mark (we'd already explored quite a few ancient ruins by now).
I'll post the rest of my snaps tomorrow.

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