Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekend in Cantabria - Part 1. Santander

This past weekend the five of us took a little trip to Cantabria.  This all came about because The Professor and I had a gift box lying around with coupon that was good for a night in a hotel, dinner and breakfast for two.  There were several places that looked interesting, but we ended up choosing Cantabria since it is close enough to be able to do as an overnight trip.  The Professor and I had both been there before, but not together.  And, at first, we considered leaving the girls with friends, but then we thought it would be fun to go all together, especially since they had never been to that part of the country.  Besides, we still have the chance to go places together now, but that won't last for long.  In two years' time, Catgirl will start the university, and then she probably won't want to hang out with her old mom and dad anymore.

Actually, she didn't even want to come along this weekend, but being the mean and horrible people we are, we made her come along and ruined her weekend.  She had wanted to go on the Javierada (a pilgrimage to Javier castle in honor of San Francisco Javier) with her friends from school, but we didn't find out about it until after we'd made the hotel reservations.  So, she was stuck coming with us.  And she made sure we knew she wasn't happy about it.  We had moping until around Bilbao.

But then I said to her that since she was there, she might as well try to have fun.  After all, it was a whole weekend of her life that she wouldn't get back.  That seemed to do the trick, and she was fine after that.  I think she even had a tolerably good time.

The day started off miserable and grey in Pamplona, nearly as grey as Catgirl's humor, and we thought we'd have a pretty wet visit to Santander, which is where we'd be stopping first.  But as soon as we passed Bilbao, the weather changed, and so did Catgirl's humor, and we had a lovely sunny day after all.

We got to Santander around lunchtime, so the first thing we did was look for a place to eat.  Finding a place that would be agreeable to all five of us is never easy, since the kids each have their preferences, and they usually don't coincide with what The Professor and I like.  But we ended up agreeing on an Italian place, which turned out to be pretty good and reasonably priced.

Then we had coffee in this place.  Café de Pombo.  We chose it because of the inviting tables outside, but we were a bit disappointed.  They messed up our order and the coffee was not very good.  The kids even said the ice cream they ordered was bad, which is saying a lot, because, while they may be picky about other things, when it comes to ice cream, they are not.

After coffee, we had a walk around the city center and the park around El Palacio de la Magdalena.  Here are just a few of the things we saw:

Wild beasts guard the post office.
SAM may be a teenager now, but she's not too old to play in the water.
The Cathedral is impressive.
But the kids were more impressed with the sign outside the cathedral:  New Spanglish dish:  Cat al Basil (cat with basil).

Stay away from my Master, or I'll bite your pinkie toe!
Finally got a photo without some little (or not so little) boy feeling up the mermaid...oh no, here comes another one!
There's always time for window shopping.
And for SAM and Ultraviolet to play in the sand.

Hey, is that a camel in the water?  Oh wait, it's just a rock.

It's the Lone Sunbather!

Tree trunk carvings in the park.
We saw the Palacio de la Magdalena.
But the kids had more fun playing "Spidergirl" than looking at the palace.
And so ends our day in Santander.  After that, we hit the road again, to look for our hotel.  And let me tell you, it was not easy to find, even with printed directions from Google maps.  We ended up getting a little lost and got a scolding from the hotel owner for turning up so late.

But I'll save that for the next post.


  1. the ice cream tasted like cardboard.... ò.ó

  2. The mermaid picture wouldn't be the same without "him" ! So funny, love your captions.

  3. "Cat al basil" O.o hahaha XDD