Archive for the ‘Travel’

Paella in the Woods – Parque Natural de Saja-Besaya

June 11, 2015 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel

Picnic in RuenteLast Sunday we were invited out for a paella picnic with @bnanno. She and her husband know many more places around Cantabria to visit, and they took us to a special place just past Cabezón de la Sal, near a town called Ruente. We met up at a place that was easy to get to – she actually sent me GPS coordinates – and then we followed them in our car to the park. Several times we wondered how much further it could be, as we wound through small villages and around mountains. We ended up in an enchanting green forest wonderland.
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Barcelona – If you’re going to see only one Spanish city…

June 08, 2015 By: erik Category: Spain, Travel

BarcelonaWhen people ask me what city they should visit in Spain, the first answer is always the same. Madrid is great and all, and has it’s charm – however, name me another important city on the globe with no bodies of water, not even a river! – Barcelona really should be prioritized over its political and fútbol rival.
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Potes – Bridges and Mountains

June 06, 2015 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel

PotesLiterally for years my wife has been saying, “Hey, maybe this weekend we can go to Potes!” It’s almost become a running household joke, like an unobtainable holy grail of family activity. Potes is a little mountain village in western Cantabria in the mountain range known as the Picos de Europa (European Peaks). At almost 300 meters of elevation, it regularly gets snowfall that we don’t get down here at 1 meter of elevation. For reasons explained above, it’s been one of the towns loaded into my phone’s weather app for years because I’m always asked what the weather’s like there this weekend. Normally it’s a handful of degrees colder than where we live, and often rainier.
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Porto Branco – White Port

May 26, 2015 By: erik Category: Travel, Wine

White PortFor some years my wife has, often as a Christmas present from her employer, received wooden boxes or cylindrical containers with port wine in them. We have never been very keen on this type of wine; on the rare occasions that we have opened a bottle it has been forgotten, and then used for special recipes that call for port, usually to make rich red sauces.

Port, as you may know is a kind of sweet, fortified wine from Portugal. Much like how alcohol snobs will tell you that you can only call a sparkling white wine “champagne” if it came from the Champagne region of France – and the same for whiskey from Bourbon County, Kentucky – a fortified wine can only be “port” if it was produced in the Douro Valley in Portugal.
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Cave Children

May 18, 2015 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel

Cave ParkAfter we finished our champagne pumpkin risotto on Sunday, the cloudy sky opened up and it was looking like we’d have a nice sunny afternoon, so we decided to return to the Cueva del Valle park, about a fifteen minute drive from home. Just like last time, we were struck by how good it feels to have the kids out running around in the nature and the dirt. Caves were explored, many, many pebbles got thrown, and some of us even petted a slug. Stick around to see some photos…
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Ibiza – Party Island of the Med

May 17, 2015 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel

Ibiza and Formentera August and September 2011Lately, I have had different groups of friends talking to me about Ibiza. A married couple with a 5 year old girl that choose Ibiza every year for their holidays, a woman from our salsa group that went there for her bachelorette party and other women that have gone there twice for their holidays, and I have grown interested in the little island.

Ibiza has tourism as its main economical activity, and from November to March there is not much activity. From April to October is when all the tourism happens with good weather in general, even though there can be storms which can leave a couple of inches of water running down the streets.
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Boating In The Bay – A Daunting Tale of a Family Marooned

May 11, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Photos, Spain, Travel

Boating Sunday - SantoñaI’ve lived here by the beautiful estuary, delta, tidal basin and beach that is the triangle of Colindres, Santoña and Laredo for a full decade. Two features dominate the landscape: the long wispy finger of a sandy peninsula that makes up Laredo’s world-class Playa Salvé, and Mount Buciero, the rocky mountain that protects all three from the brutal waves of the Cantabrian sea. In the ten years I have been here in this fishing village, I have never once been on a boat. All of that changed yesterday.
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La Taberna de Alberto and other Santoña Sunday Activities

April 19, 2015 By: erik Category: Food, Spain, Travel

Santoña SundayFor the past three days, my wife has worked super-mega-overtime to the point where she has gone to work before the kids get up and returned home after they are in bed every single day. So it was important that today, we all spend some time together. We’ve learned that we can’t do that at home. If we try to spend time at home, there is always something that an adult could be doing – e.g. ironing, cleaning, cooking, etc. – that we end up saying, “You watch the kids while I go do this other important thing.” Going on a day trip as a family is the best solution to actually making us interact as a foursome. It’s been way too long since we’ve visited the nearby village of Santoña, which we can see right across the bay every day, but don’t often go to visit.
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Smoking in Bars in Spain

April 08, 2015 By: erik Category: Complaining, Photos, Spain, Travel

Smoking ManI first set foot in Spain in January 2001, and visited off and on before becoming a permanent resident in June 2005. [Wow, that’s a decade!] Due to the structure of the human brain, my memories of that time can be easily triggered by smell. Since Spaniards primarily socialize in bars, many of those memories are linked with the pungent odor of tobacco smoke, which was thick in the atmosphere of all Spanish bars during those years.
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Saturday at Parque de la Magdalena

March 12, 2015 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel

SantanderThis past weekend, we spent Saturday afternoon in Santander, specifically on the peninsula that makes up the Parque de la Magdalena, which I consider the item at the very top of the “must see” list for Santander tourism. It was the first sunny day in a long time, and everybody was out there enjoying it. If you like high cliff-side views of the sea – and who doesn’t? – then you’ll love the Parque de la Magdalena; it is simply breathtaking.
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