I had been to spain many times before, on family holidays. As I go to a language school we get offers to go to amazing places all over the world. I study Spanish, the Spanish department tend not to do trips (apart from exchanges), but this year they decided to run one. The trip was to go to Bilbao, Santander and Santillana del mar. This blog is only going to be short, so I will focus on Santillana Del Mar. I will probably do Bilbao and Santander at a later date.
We flew at 6 am from Stansted to Bilbao. We went with EasyJet, I love flying so it was a great flight. A friend I was travelling with did not feel the same way, as she was scared of flying- that was fun! *note the sarcasm*. I love easy jet, cheap and simple.
It was about 1 and a half hours drive to get to Santillana Del Mar. I had never been to northern spain before and I was pleasantly suprised with its picturesque views, the way the clouds covered the tops of the mountains and would almost roll over the top of them- It was quite something. The weather so far hadn’t been great, the sky had quickly turned into cloud and rain began to fall. Not a great start to the visit, but you can’t change the weather.
Arriving in Santillana Del Mar. It was like one of those old, hidden away spanish towns you see in movies. Vines and all sorts of greenery wrapped around the buildings making them seem as if they had been there forever. There was a park in the middle where you could see children running around without a care in the world, it was very peaceful. The hotel we stayed in was right in the centre, opposite the park. It was called Hotel Los Angeles (tacky name, beautiful building). This, as all the other buildings, was very old and had a very spanish feel to it. If you have never been to Spain then this might be hard for you to understand what I mean, but I’m trying to portray an old building with stone floors and walls with the wooden structures peaking through- from my experience in spain, this is expected of a spanish house/building.
The main town. As the oldest group, we were allowed to wonder around the town on our own. It was beautiful. All narrow cobbled streets with buildings hanging over the top of you, selling anything from fans to jam. It was such a welcoming place, everyone was so peaceful and relaxed. You’d think they didn’t have a care in the world. It was somewhere where you could forget about all your worries and just let go.
When visiting a shop there was an old spanish man, who I assumed to be the owner, sitting at the back. While looking around the shop we struck up a conversation, him seeing what spanish I knew and I what english he knew. He found this very amusing as I racked my brain trying to put together sentences in spanish. He asked “so, what made you come to the town of three lies?” This confused me as I didn’t understand why he called it the “town of threes lies”. So of course I google’d, and wikipedia’d it. This is what it said:
“There is an old saying that Santillana del Mar is The Town of Three Lies, since it is neither a Saint (Santo), nor flat (llana), nor is it by the sea (Mar) as implied by its name.”
I found this rather interesting, and I wondered why they called it that if it has no relevance to the name. I’d like to find out.
Summing it all up. Santillana Del Mar is a beautiful liar. The deceiving town that makes up for it in looks. Although I haven’t been to every town in spain, I could argue that it is probably one of the most beautiful and tranquil towns in Spain. If looking for a quiet get away, go here. Its warm and like home.