Navidades con la familia

Our Christmas break has finally come to a close. Today we begin our classes once again and it’s back to reality so to speak.  Towards the end of our long vacation we were glad to have my parents, sister, and grandfather come visit us in Spain. Though it was a short visit for them, I made sure I gave them a tour of some of the highlights of our surrounding region.

One of my new favorite drives that we discovered with my family is the route from San Vicente de la Barquera to Santillana del Mar through Comillas. Though it’s no more than about 30 miles, it displays some of the most beautiful green pastures and coastline of Cantabria. Then, just outside of San Vicente on a clear day you get a spectacular view towards the snow capped Picos de Europa. All three towns are quite handsome.

Comillas, with it’s Capricho by Antonio Gaudí, was a real highlight for me. Though I had read that it’s closed to the public, we were pleasantly surprised it was open for a self-guided tour. It was really nice to be up close and personal with a work of Gaudí, without all the tourist hordes that you get in Barcelona. Plus the Capricho is special because it’s just one of three Gaudí houses outside of Cataluña.

Our family tour also included a great day in Potes. It’s hard not to like Potes, with it’s cobblestone alleys and mountainous setting.

A day trip to Bilbao was also in store for the family, including a visit to the Museo de Bellas Artes. It happened to be free that day, so we waited in line with about 200 hundred other Spaniards to get in, but it was a really enjoyable museum that traces Western art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Then for a taste of modern art, we headed over to see the Guggenheim (the exterior, that is).

Finally we ended the trip with a day in Burgos, which was my favorite day. Burgos is a beautiful provincial and historical capital. Its cathedral is my favorite in all of Europe.

All in all it was a great time spent with family.

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