Santillana Del Mar to Comillas in the Rain

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Camino de Santiago del Norte
Day 13 of our Adventure: WALK!!
Thursday September 14, 2017

33km / 19 miles / 7 hours
Total Ascent: 750 ft.
Total Descent: 1247 ft.
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 3; Waymarking 2
Scenery Rating: 3

Santillana del Mar to Comillas

I wish that we’d taken photos of Santillana last night, because the weather prevented us from much of anything when we left this morning. But our electronic devices all needed charging, so we don’t have photos to share.

Waymarks are limited in Santillana, and we had to wing it to walk through the Plaza to get back to the Camino. To say that it was raining is an understatement. Not like a gentle Seattle rain. Wind (30 mph gusts), torrential rain, ponchos practically airborne…. At least we didn’t have muddy paths during the first part of our walk. Eventually the rain subsided somewhat, and we actually had sunshine by the time we reached Comillas.

We couldn’t take many photos until we had a break in the weather. The beautiful mountains and view of the sea were spectacular!

A highlight was Cóbreces, which “lights up with color”, dominated by 2 pastel-colored buildings:

  • the red Church of St. Peter ad Vincula, a striking Neo-Gothic structure with 2 prominent towers and an octagonal dome. A monument to pilgrims stands behind it.
  • The sky-blue Cistercian Abbey of Viaceli, distinctive for its rows of pointed windows.

All in all it was an easier walk, and we got to Comillas in time for a lovely “comida”, the main meal of the day. Once again we had robadallo, turbot, grilled whole. SO delicious!

We schlepped to our hotel, Hotel Comillas, only to find that they didn’t have our reservation, It had been changed (unbeknownst to us) to Hotel Marina de Campios…. Close to where we had lunch. All is well, and the room is very spacious!! (Unusual for rooms in Spain.)

A seignorial town of palaces and noble homes, Comillas was frequented by the Spanish royal family at the beginning of the 20th century. Its main attraction is an odd villa called El Capricho (The Whimsy”), created by Antonio Gaudí and covered with green and yellow three-dimensional flowered tiles of his own design. It is a stunning combination of brick, iron, and pottery, displaying both Spanish and Arabic influences. Gaudí assisted with the general design and furnishings of the Palacio de Sobrellano, an impressive Neo-Gothic building. We didn’t make it to El Capricho in time to take a tour, but we’ll be back to see this beautiful town.

Tomorrow will be another rainy day, as we walk to Unquera.

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