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Sunday, December 18, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 9, Part 2 - Valdediós

"The only time to buy these is on a day with no 'y' in it." - Warren Buffett

***

France/Spain 2011
Day 9 - 25th March - Valdediós
(Part 2)

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Dog outside church

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Alley from the previous night

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Street from the previous night

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Exhibition in a building in Santillana del Mar: "sexe en piedra" (Google Translate processes the whole sentence as "stone cock" but individually it translates as "sex in stone")

We went in to have a look at a very nice restaurant (a Parador - which means it was quite high end) which promised "a journey through the history of the cuisine of Cantabria in the form of bite-sized portions to savor the culture and tradition of its products".

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Atas menu of La Mesa Pasiega

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Atas interior

Unfortunately it only opened at 1:30 (it was 12:40 and we had more things to do).

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So we ended up having a non-atas lunch: tortilla with tuna and mushroom, bocadillo with omelette

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Ham platter mmm ("Tabla de Ibericos")

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Hanging hams

Our next stop was Valdedios - the Valley of God.

Unfortunately it was kinda hard to find so we stopped nearby at Villaviciosa for directions. The tourist office was on siesta so I walked around and someone had a coffee.

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Church

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Calle Valle Ballina Y Fdez

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Cars on road

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Fountain

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Wavy mediterranean decor - I'd seen this in Macau. IRL there was a deadache-inducing 3D effect.

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Church at the end of Street

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Official Pilgrimage drink of the Way of St James. By the Coca Cola Company.

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More of the old town's streets. I was told it looked like a rich version of Mexico.

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We went to the slackest tourist office in the world for directions: open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12-2pm and 3:30-5:30pm. Damn, I want to work there! (it's in the culture of the area - one monastery in Valdedios was open from 11-1 in November to April)

Around the tourist office we found a guy who'd cycled from Germany and was going to Fisterra in Spain (near Santiago). He projected he'd take a year in all.

Having directions, we set off for Valdedios.

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Baba Yaga's Hut

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This place is only "1% cultural"

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San Salvador de Valdedios - side view. It's pre-Romanesque.

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San Salvador de Valdedios - front view

Unfortunately, it - the old church - was closed, and so was another of the churches - the new church (from the 13th century) - we wanted to visit.

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Lucky I could peek at the new church.

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Door

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Arch and door. The glass is the real door, not the wood.

There was a board with pictures of both churches. There were many pictures of the new one (the one whose keyhole I peeked through) and very few of the old one. So I concluded the new one was nicer and the old one probably had nothing inside.

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From a touristic video

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Old church

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Cross to crucify highwaymen on

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We ran into a dead cat on the roadside. It was quite surreal.

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Valley of God. It was the most beautiful valley I'd ever seen in Spain, so it was worthy of the name.

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Valdedios through trees

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Obscured by foliage

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My heart wants to beat
Like the wings of the birds
That rise from the lake to the trees

Then we hit Oviedo. And were brusquely reminded that we were in a Third World country, as there was a pair of people going up to cars and cleaning windscreens. Just like in Jakarta.

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Damn ugly statues

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Sea urchins

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More hams

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Huge lettuces

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Huge courgettes

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Pastries. They were not bad but French ones were better. They were very cheap though - 12 bite-sized pastries cost 1€.


Our car told us when gear changes (in either direction) were needed. So it was pseudo-auto.

At one point there was a bridge over our highway - for cows. Uhh.

There were signs reminding us to turn on - and off - our headlights for tunnels. Even when the tunnels were very short and the car spent less than 2 seconds in them.

There were petrol stations with 2 grades of diesel and 1 grade of gasoline. How odd. So once I paid more for diesel than for petrol - because I pulled in to the more expensive diesel pump.

Driving in the shadow of mountains is nice.

Southern European blondes are dirty blondes. Because they're bottle blondes.
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