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The Rain in Spain

Santander, Spain


Having heard that the rain in Spain falls mainly in Santander, I was not surprised to arrive into a dark and drizly afternoon in the town bordering the Bay of Biscay. I had survived another train journey, which became gradually more and more interesting as the weather became gradually less and less pleasant until, about two hours from Madrid, we disappeared into a cloud and didn't pass through the other side for some time. Luckily, there was a film to watch; more specifically, the same film dubbed in Spanish and with Catalan subtitles. I learnt one or two more Spanish words and phrases from it including a couple of jokes at the expense of the Scottish (it wasn't a very good film), rather hoping that the journey would be long enough for the weather to change.

I asked at an information point how long a walk it would be to my apartment from the station and was told 20 minutes. But she didn't exactly look like an athlete so I reckoned I could do it in 10. After about half an hour of walking in circles in the rain and several requests of help from strangers, each of which required miming - incidentally, if anyone has a good mime for 'traffic lights' I should like to hear it - I arrived. I was staying in a small self-catered apartment, as here this was going to be cheaper than anything else and gave me the freedom I wanted. I had just misjudged the size of Santander, meaning this was a little further out than I thought it would be.

Next day, armed with a beach towel, sunscreen, music, reading and everything else, I went the 30 minute walk to the beach. Unfortunately, it kept trying to rain and when it wasn't, there was barely any sun. Having promised myself that I would stick to my self-catering rules - no cafes, no restaurants and no non-food shopping -, there wasn't an nawful lot to do. So I did a lot of walking. The next day, my final one in Spain, was much better. I went to the beach early, walked around the town, and sat in the parks waiting to board my ferry. Santander reminded me a little of Plymouth, not only as a port town, but also in aspects of its layout and character. It is not a particularly classically beautiful city, nor is it incredibly ugly, but probably the only reason to come here is for the beach, one of the top 8 (allegedly) in the EU. I was therefore glad to have one day to make the most of it.

In the evening, I made my way to the port, checked in, and sat down to wait to board the ferry. Every time I looked at my watch, I could for the first time in two months count down the number of hours until I would be home. First, however, I had to endure my worst sea voyage yet.

permalink written by  BenWH on May 25, 2009 from Santander, Spain
from the travel blog: Gap Year Odyssey
tagged Spain

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