Posted by: travelrat | August 26, 2011

The Green Hills of … SPAIN?

Villacarreido: 20th March 2011.

One of the first things that struck me about the Palacio de Soñanes was how close to the road it was. If a similar house was to be built in England, it would usually be surrounded by parkland, to keep the hoi polloi at a reasonable distance. Here, the road runs right by the house so, if they wished, the peasantry could look through the ground-floor window, and see what the upper classes were up to.

Since the wifi (when it worked) was a bit spotty, this was the best place to sit if you had to go online for any reason. We often used to get a cheery wave from the boys from the school next door, as they passed outside on their morning run.

This morning, I was checking my email when I heard the clop of hooves outside. Fortunately, I had my camcorder with me, and was able to get some footage of a farmer leading a horse-drawn cart laden with grass down the road.

Later, it was explained to me that the farmer wasn’t using a horse because he couldn’t afford a tractor, but because it was better able to deal with the steep slopes of his hay meadows.

Slopes? Hay meadows? We’re in SPAIN, for Pete’s sake! But, we’re in Cantabria, right up in the northwest corner, in the foothills of a considerable mountain range. And here, both the climate and the surroundings are almost Alpine. Even Spanish participants who didn’t come from the area remarked on the verdant lushness of the area. And, of course, the weather. Contrary to popular belief, the rain in Spain falls on other places than the plain!

But, it did brighten up considerably later!




  1. Hi Keith,
    The grass has a really deep green colour to it, looks really healthy. I’m also assuming it would be a lot cooler there than most places in Spain.

    • Well, we were there at the end of March, and when it wasn’t raining, I alternated between shirt-sleeves and a light sweater. I think I’d like to see this place when it’s been snowing!

  2. WOW. It really is green. I wouldn’t have thought it was Spain. Love how the kids wave to you!

    • A lot of places, I thought might be in Germany or Austria. I met a farmer on one of our walks, and NEARLY greeted him with ‘Grüss Gott!’

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