Cantabria, Lunch, Laredo and Liendo

The Bar La Solana was at the top of the village of La Apericida overlooking a panoramic view of an impossibly green valley and we parked the car nearby.  I think they were surprised to see us because we were the only customers and the family owners were sitting around reading newspapers and watching the television.

We ordered some food from the small chalkboard menu on the wall and sat outside in what was now full sunshine and towering blue skies and watched the small lizards who were all no doubt pleased with the improvement in the weather.  So pleased in fact that a couple of them were copulating under our very noses!  When the food arrived we were delighted with a rustic lunch that included quite the best calamari we had ever tasted, better even that on the island of Ios which we have always declared to be our favourite and where we have returned three years running for the squid!

After a couple of San Miguels we strolled around and enjoyed the views, walked around the hill top church and monastery and then returned to the car and back to the coast where we were heading for the town of Laredo which, with a five kilometre sandy beach, is one of the most important seaside towns in Cantabria and which in the summer is a favourite destination for thousands of Spanish holidaymakers.  But this was the last day of April so the atmosphere was laid back and relaxed and we parked the car without any difficulty directly on the sea front and walked over the dunes next to the road and down to the beach.

Grey clouds were gathering again now and the sky was transforming to chalky white as we walked across the hard sand avoiding the puddles of breeze rippled water down as close as we could get to the water’s edge.  The bay was long and wide and we had it practically to ourselves but I expect it gets a whole lot busier and crowded in the summer.  At one end was the old town and harbour and at the other were the rows and rows of holiday hotels, which to be honest didn’t look especially thrilling.  We were right in the middle so didn’t walk to either end but after a while returned to the car and with the weather deteriorating again drove through the town without stopping and returned to Liendo, sitting at the bottom of its saucer shaped valley surrounded by green hills and to the Posada La Torre de la Quintana.

We didn’t go straight back to the hotel but walked instead into the quiet village centre, through streets of white buildings with red tiled roofs, the village square, a couple of empty bars and a church.  We were looking for another of Marta’s recommendations but this placed didn’t show any signs of life so we decided that tonight we would return to El Roble.   The shops were closed for the siesta for the next half an hour or so, so we walked back and then after a few minutes I went back again to buy some more supplies of wine.

I really liked this place, mostly because it was so authentic and the shopping was a real experience.  The shopkeeper knew even less English than I know Spanish but with the help of another well-intentioned customer, who also knew no English, he helped me make a selection of local wines.  There were no prices on the bottles so I worried about the cost but I had no need to because when he cashed up they were only a couple of euro or so each .  I really like trying to communicate with Spanish people especially when it is clear that we cannot understand each other but they carry on anyway with the conversation at great speed and when it is all over look at you as though you have understood every word.  This is the time to nod appreciatively, say gracias and then adios and move on.

Later we sat in the garden and drank some wine, when it turned cool we went inside and played some pool and waited for Marta and Luz to leave but this evening there were some more guests coming from Madrid for tomorrow’s festival so tonight we would not have the place all to ourselves again.  They arrived at about eight o’clock just as we were preparing to go out for dinner when we returned to El Roble and had a plate of Iberian Ham to share and a main course each of succulent cod prepared in two alternative styles.

There was no sign of the Spanish guests when we returned so with the hotel to ourselves we played some more pool and drank the excellent local rioja and when we finally ended the evening we reflected on an excellent and relaxing day and wondered what the weather would bring in the morning?

4 responses to “Cantabria, Lunch, Laredo and Liendo

  1. As you know I’m a big fan of northern Spain and Cantabria has some beautiful beaches, and great fish restaurants

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