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Starting to plan for 3.5 weeks in northern Spain, May 2015

Starting to plan for 3.5 weeks in northern Spain, May 2015

Dec 2nd, 2014, 09:56 PM
  #41  
kja
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Hi, cruiseluv -- thanks for chiming in! Finding an unexpectedly scaffold-covered cathedral after such a pilgramage must have been disconcerting, to say the least. I hope it didn't diminish your sense of achievement or delight in completing the Camino Portugues -- and congratulations for doing so!

I've been reading a bit about the Picos de Europa and would love to at least glimpse it -- it sounds spectacular. Any specific recommendations for someone who is NOT up to anything other than a relatively short, easy hike?
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Dec 2nd, 2014, 11:50 PM
  #42  
 
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Get to Potes and then to the Fuente Dé cableway...simply spectacular. Once up, you may hike for as long as you want, but it´s possible to do a short hike around. http://cantur.com/instalaciones/actu...o-de-fuente-de, in Spanish only, regrettably. And don´t miss Potes, or Enol and Encina lakes.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 12:04 AM
  #43  
kja
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OMG, I love Fodor's -- such a wealth of valuable information!

Thanks, mikelg -- you have given me a wonderful starting point for my visit to the Picos de Europa, for both planning and actually visiting this spectacular part of Spain.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 09:40 AM
  #44  
 
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Potes would be a good base - try to stay up there two or three nights (it is a bit of a trek to get there.) Besides Fuente De there is the monastery Santo Toribio de Liébana, where they have a piece of the true cross, and when I was there 3 years ago they had some reproductions of some of the illustrations of St. Beatus "Commentary of the Apocalypse" in a room outside the church. They have a neat gift shop there as well.

Just outside Potes there is a great visitors center with exhibitions on the geology, animals, culture of the Picos. Potes also has a great outdoor market one a week but I don't remember the day (Saturday?)

The parador at Fuente de has bar tables outside so you can get a wine or coffee and look at the view (and the cable car.)

Hopefully the scaffolding on the Santiago cathedral will be gone by the time you go there. It was pretty major scaffolding, the kind with a beeping elevator inside of it. You have a good chance of seeing the Butafumiero though - the last two years I have been there (in May and in early June) they did it every day.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 11:23 AM
  #45  
 
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The open market in Potes is on Monday. At least that's when we were visiting it on our way to Fuente Dé. Taking the cable car up the mountain is indeed spectacular — as long as it's a clear, sunny day....

I think commuting between these small, quaint places using a rental car would be so much more convenient and efficient, compared to public transportation....
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 11:39 AM
  #46  
 
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To whet your appetite: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7623190654780/

Most of the pictures were taken before I started writing trip reports.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 02:28 PM
  #47  
 
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rialtogirl, we went to Fuente De but couldn't go up to the parador due to the fog, so we'll have to take you word about the views and the cafe/bar.

we stayed in Potes and liked it very much, but missed the visitor centre [i wonder if it was there 30 years ago?]
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 03:50 PM
  #48  
 
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Mamamia I am so glad you know the market day for Potes, I am making a mental note because when I go back I want to go to that market!

annhig, the parador is on the road very close to where the cable car loads up, so you are looking up at the top of the mountain where the cable car goes. But yes there wouldn't be too much reason to go there in the fog. It is not the most exciting parador without the view.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 06:09 PM
  #49  
 
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We spent 2 nights in Girona and loved it! I think it makes an excellent base. Also recommend Cadaques if you want to see the Mediterranean, very beautiful. We enjoyed just walking around & taking photos. Dali's house in Port Lligat is one of the highlights of our trip. We also had breakfast in Besalu; & made stops in Ripoll & Rupit. Drove along Costa Brava. Tossa de Mar (christened "Blue Paradise" by Chagall) is beautiful.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 06:33 PM
  #50  
kja
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More messages with enticing options! Thanks, one and all!

@ rialtogrl, mammamia2, & annhig -- Potes sounds wonderful: Spectacular natural scenery, stunning man-made treasures, a market, a dash of science.... I can't wait!

Oh, a chance to see the butafumiero! That would go a long way to making up for scaffolding, should the scaffolding still be there.

@ Michael -- I always enjoy your pictures -- thanks so much for sharing! Loved your use of the manhole covers (among many other things). Where were you when you took that amazing shot of the Spanish Pyrenees?

Kwoo -- I'm so glad you mentioned these places! The Costa Brava has been on my wish-list for a long time and you certainly make it sound inviting.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 06:43 PM
  #51  
 
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Where were you when you took that amazing shot of the Spanish Pyrenees?

You are probably referring to the shot taken coming down from the French border on A-136. The village was being flooded by the lake formed behind a new dam.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 06:55 PM
  #52  
kja
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Oh, THAT's what you meant! I had thought you were making a cynical comment about rising ocean levels. Sad to know it's probably gone, but oh my, it must have been a breathtaking sight!
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 08:10 PM
  #53  
 
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BTW, most photos are geo-tagged, which you can see when you look at pictures individually rather than as part of a slide show. But if you click on the location given, you will see all the other pictures around the exact location, but no that one.
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 08:54 PM
  #54  
 
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kja,

The scaffolding didnt detract from the being there but I've been lucky to be in Santiago other previous times.

Great suggestion of Fuente Dé cable car and Potes. As an alternative, I stayed at the Parador in Cangas de Onís and from there visited and hiked around the lakes of Enol and Ercina on the Picos. The trails I took were easy, nothing strenuous. Also visited the shrine and church at Covadonga, very special.

Wow, I really have to get myself back, such a beautiful area!
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 09:00 PM
  #55  
kja
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@ Michael -- How cool!

@ cruiseluv -- Easy hikes sound worth pursuing -- can you tell me how to find them?
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 09:08 PM
  #56  
 
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kja,

I remember getting some sort of map at a visitors center up there (this was a few years ago so my memory is fuzzy). But I just googled and came up with this:

http://www.walkingasturias.com/lakes...circular-walk/
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Dec 3rd, 2014, 09:27 PM
  #57  
kja
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@ cruiseluv -- thank you so much! That looks perfect.
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Dec 5th, 2014, 03:44 AM
  #58  
 
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bookmarking
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Dec 5th, 2014, 04:05 AM
  #59  
kja
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@ sfmaster -- I'm glad that you are finding information on this thread that you find helpful. Feel free to jump in with questions or comments at any time!
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Dec 7th, 2014, 08:14 AM
  #60  
 
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According to a recent report in the Spanish press, the scaffolding on the Santiago cathedral is scheduled to come off the towers "next spring." They are going to be testing throughout this winter's rainy season to make sure they have gotten all the leaks sealed. But the total renovation of the cathedral is not anticipated to be done until the next Holy Year, which is 2021! This is a big project, thought at 30 million euros is less than I would have thought it might cost. I've read it's the first renovation effort ever!

The swinging of the botafumeiro, outside of a holy year, just depends on whether people are willing to pay to see it swing. Many large groups walking the Camino do pay the hundreds of euros to be able to see it, but that information isn't highly publicized. This year, the merchants/hoteliers of Santiago have paid for it to be swung every Friday night at the 7 pm mass, but I haven't heard whether it will be continued into 2015.

I would second the suggestion about spending time in Potes and then in Fuente De.
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