The Forgotten North of Spain: Covadonga, Asturias
Today I would like to talk about the beautiful and forgotten North of Spain, regions that no foreigners believe can be found in a country like Spain. I show you ages ago some photos of one of the best beaches in Spain (here) and today I want to show you the mountains, a a very special place in those mountains: Covadonga.
As many other places in Spain, Covadonga was named after a Virgin, who is the patron saint of all Asturias and her day is celebrated on the 8th of September. On that date people from different parts of the region and the country, go to these mountains and church to pay their respects to the Virgin.
People (at least in the UK) think Spain is high temperatures, crowded beaches, sangría, flamenco and paella. Well, I am sorry to disappoint but Asturias
is none of those. It rains quite a lot, and the temperatures during the summer are around 25 degrees. The traditional dish is called Fabada, and is a white bean stew with chorizo (not the one you find in the supermarkets here), morcilla (similar to black pudding)…. So it is quite strong!
Let´s start then. The mountains belong are some of the most impressive mountains in Asturias. They can be seeing from a little tiny town called Poncebos, and I think it is totally worth a visit.
In these mountains one can find wild goats jumping from rock to rock and standing still in impossible places, vultures majestically flying over the mountains, wolves and even some grizzly bears. You see, I told you, Asturias is not like the rest of Spain.
I have a theory regarding all this. I believe that when the tectonic plaques were moving, what today is Asturias used to be united to something else, maybe the North of Europe. Then after hundreds of years, it crashed against what today is Spain, and the mountains were formed. That is why (in my opinion) we, in Asturias, have the same animals as some countries in the North of Europe, but few in common with the rest of Spain.
As you can see the water is pure and clean, so transparent and cold! The noise it makes when it comes down with a lot of strength is a bit scary, sounding just like thunders on a bad storm. But it is pure nature at its best, and it is worth seeing. Through those mountains there is a walking/biking route, Ruta del Cares
, that is really impressive and beautiful.
From Poncebos, Covadonga
is not too far by car. The roads are not the best, taking into account they are mountain roads and not ready for many cars, they are quite narrow in some places. I recommend not to look down if you don´t like heights… 😀
As you go up the way, through the trees you start seeing the shape of a building. Some people say it looks like a Disney castle, but when you get closer and closer you can see this beautiful church at the top of one of the mountains.
Every time I go, I feel the same way. I think it is just beautiful, the church in the mountains, far away from everything else. When I see it I feel proud and happy for belonging to such an amazing place: Asturias.
The little cave on the rock you can see on the second and third photos is where the Virgin is, but photos are not allowed in there. I actually don´t belong to any religion but there is something special about this place, it makes me feel at peace with the world and with myself, which sometimes it is the most difficult peace to find.
On the fourth photo you can see people walking towards a fountain with seven taps. Legend says that if you drink from all those seven taps you get married within a year. Don´t worry, it is not true. I am the living example! People also through coins to the water, and ask for a wish.
I know I said a lot about the weather not being nice, but all the photos have blue skies. Well, that day we were lucky, usually it looks more like the photo below…
The statue is of King Pelayo, according to the legend he fought the Arabs that were conquering Spain and that is why Asturias was never under Arabic rule. He is also thought to have started the re conquering of Spain in the 9th Century.
I love showing you bits of Asturias and of the North of Spain in general but, do you like it? Do you enjoy these posts or do you rather see restaurants, hotels and more city stuff? I would love your feedback!
Thank you for reading, you are great!