Dougall’s – Local Cantabrian Beer

April 26, 2014 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain

DouGall's Beers: Think Globally, Drink LocallyI discovered this brewery two years ago, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for it, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I noticed it in the local Lupa supermarket chain. Some googling tells me that the brewery was started by an Englishman, named Andrew Dougall, around eight years go. The brewery is based out of a little town called Liérganes, only about a half hour away from me.
(more…)

Return to Restaurante Solana – Michelin Star Dining in Cantabria

June 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Wine

Coconut and pineapple ravioli with passionfruitWhen our friends Simon and Paola were visiting last week from Brussels, we wanted to show off our local cuisine. As you can see from Simon’s blog, they are fine dining hobbyists, taking advantage of their location in Brussels to try as many Michelin Star restaurants as they can. After I visited them and they took me out to one of Brussels’ finest establishments, the fine dining bug bit me as well. It really is a fun experience.

After I visited them in October, I took my wife out to our local Michelin Star establishment, Restaurante Solana, and we were wowed, especially my wife, who had been dubious about the whole thing. So naturally we wanted to take Simon and Paola to Restaurante Solana to show off what Cantabria has to offer.
(more…)

Morning in Limpias

April 02, 2013 By: erik Category: Family, Photos, Spain, Travel

Kayak TiltshiftTwo and a half years ago, we drove the seven minutes to the town of Limpias and very much enjoyed a walk along the river. I remember thinking at the time, “I should bring my parents here.” And last weekend, I did. The sky was clear and the sun was warming the cool spring air, and we decided to walk along the water in Limpias.

Limpias is positioned by where the Asón River begins to open up before spilling into the sea in Colindres, and Limpias still has a lot of artillery guarding the river entrance, presumably from the Spanish Civil War.
(more…)

Maidens of Laredo

March 19, 2013 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel

Maidens of Laredo (cropped)I’m a big fan of clever street art, such as this mural, in nearby Santoña, that spans three buildings. The medieval Old Town section of nearby Laredo is both the most happening social zone of the town, and also the most derelict crumbling part, full of abandoned, disintegrating buildings. Just last month one of them blew over. So there are plenty of abandoned houses with boarded up windows. A year or two ago, some interesting paintings began appearing on some of the doors and windows of the Old Town, depicting women inside the houses looking out. More than once, I’ve done a double-take when walking by, because they seem so real.
(more…)

Restaurante Solana – Michelin Star Dining in Cantabria

December 10, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Reviews, Spain

Restaurante SolanaBack in October, for my birthday, I enjoyed the treat of dining with my favorite gastronomy blogger at a Michelin 2-star restaurant in Brussels. It was an exciting and memorable experience. The worst part of it was not getting to share the experience with my lovely wife. Our neighboring Basque Country has a firmament of Michelin stars, but most of them are an hour or two away, which is not too far to drive to a restaurant, but it’s too far to drive back in a stupor of digestive bliss. So imagine my delight to discover last week that Restaurante Solana, a restaurant in our neighboring town of Ampuero, was awarded a Michelin star last year!
(more…)

Cloud River

October 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Photography, Spain, Timelapse, Videos

River FogThe town in which I live is situated at the mouth of the river Asón, which begins way high up in the mountains and flows down into the tidal basin estuary you see in the current header image of this blog. Occasionally I have noticed a fog hanging over the river in the mornings. The fog yesterday, however, seemed more dynamic. I could see it churning with my naked eye. I’ve always been a big fan of churning and flowing clouds in timelapse videos, and the visibility above the clouds was fantastic, so I raced to set up my tripod, camera and intervalometer before leaving to walk my daughter to school.
(more…)

Sauga Folk Festival 2012

August 22, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Ireland, Music, Spain, Videos

Sauga Folk 2012 - Virgen de Palacios - VotoLast weekend, I attended the 18th annual Sauga Folk festival, held each year in my town of Colindres. The festival focuses on local, Cantabrian music and dance, as well as celtic music in general. Each year we get some pretty famous (as the celtic music scene goes) acts from Ireland and sometimes Scotland traveling here to perform. Due to collisions with August summer vacations, this is only the second year that I have been able to attend.
(more…)

Vermouth Band – Classic Rock Cantabrian Cover Band

July 30, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Music, Reviews, Videos

Vermouth BandOn Saturday, my wife and I got to attend another live music performance at our favorite local sports bar, El Vapor. This time it was a classic rock cover band, Vermouth Band, billed as covering the works of The Eagles, America, Status Quo, Queen, The Police, Cat Stevens, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kansas and ZZ Top. That’s definitely my kind of tunes! Unlike the last band we went to see, this band was set up outside on the sidewalk. This being Cantabria, they had to stop playing for ten minutes once because of a light drizzle, but picked right back up when it subsided.
(more…)

Visiting Cabárceno Zoo – Cantabria Tourism

March 11, 2012 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel

ElephantsThis weekend we planned on visiting the local Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno, a “nature park”, i.e. a zoo with wide enclosures where you have to get in your car and drive 300 meters from exhibit to exhibit. We were going to go on Sunday, but the weather was so great on Saturday morning that we decided to go on Saturday instead. It was closer than I thought it was, only a 40 minute drive from Colindres. It was not at all cheap, at 21€ for adults and 18€ for 6-12 year olds (free for two-year-old Nora), but we took a picnic lunch and spent a good five hours there. There is a 100€ year-long family pass that would be worth buying if we wanted to go more than twice a year. When we got back home, I discovered I had taken 393 photographs, which I trimmed down to a mere 217 photos worth uploading to the internet. I’ll try to keep the number in this post down in double digits.
(more…)

Ampuero Bullrun

September 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Bulls, Food, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Ampuero PartiersLast weekend we went to the annual festival in Ampuero, a neighboring town of 4,000 residents. Every year, they hold a miniature version of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, complete with all night partying in white clothes and red scarfs, a running of the bulls, and bullfighting. Of the six years we’ve lived here, we’ve gone several times. We knew from past experience that it’s nearly impossible to park in a small town that’s hosting three times its inhabitants in a festival, so we parked on the outskirts of town to save the time and stress of finding a closer spot.
(more…)