Getting lost in Santillana del Mar

Cobbled lanes and sandstone churches, flowery balconies and views of rolling hills attracted us to the small town of Santillana de Mar. It didn’t disappoint. Gorgeous, traditional Spain.

We left Cabarceno around 10.30am, after working on the water logistics of the motorhome. We’d completely run out of fresh water last night, so knew we had to fill up. Luckily, the Aires site we were staying on had facilities for fresh and waste water so off we went across the car park to work it all out.

We dumped our ‘dump’ and filled up our tank with fresh water for a well-deserved shower. This is truly one of the best perks of having a motorhome over a campervan. There is nothing like a hot shower! We’d also made friends with another fellow Motorhomer who offered us some great advice about filling up and reminded us how to empty the toilet cassette as it was the first time we’d ever done it, it was all theory up to now! Top tip for sure, talk to other motorhomers, great source of tips and bits.

We realised very quickly yesterday that our ‘feel at home’ Three Mobile package (which is their ‘add on’ to allow you to roam in 42 countries across the world as if you were using your phone as normal in the UK…with some restrictions), wouldn’t allow data ‘hotspotting’ so we had no access to wifi! We had planned to simply use our phones and share their data with a laptop….didn’t happen! Not possible. Grrrr.

No wifi means no blogging and that just wasn’t going to do! So on route to Santillana del Mar, we stopped off in the local Carrefour supermarket and to our amazement, they had a mobile phone shop, to see if they could help. Now I haven’t spoken Spanish for some time, years in fact and was concerned I wouldn’t know enough to converse. However, it all came flooding back and I somehow managed to speak enough Spanish to ask the lady in the phone shop inside for a mifi device and access to wifi on the road. It worked and for 49 Euros later we have a mifi device and 10 Euros credit!

Once set up with some nice bread and soup in the Carrefour carpark (oh yes the luxury of driving with a kitchen in tow), we headed on with rolling hills on either side of us to the town of Santillana del Mar.

Despite only consisting of little more than two pedestrianized streets and a couple of plazas, it is actually worth the trip. It’s very majestical in it’s ambience, quiet and loved. The streets are cobbled and immaculate, the houses are presented with flowers and cute balconies, and the plazas large and inviting. We started our walk with no map, just ambled and got lost which was the beauty.

Many of the mansions here are from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, they are clustered together mostly still belonging to their original families.

The local tourist information is extremely helpful, and as it was a Monday the church was unfortunately closed (most museums and churches in Spain are closed on a Monday). However, I was told it was beautiful and worth the trip inside if you have time. They also said we are welcome to stay in their car park overnight should we wish, so we thought it was a great option for an overnight stop off before heading off tomorrow morning.

Another reason to visit Santilliana del Mar is the Caves of Altamira. These caves burrow into the hillside 2km west of the town and are said to be an extraordinary series of caverns which housed prehistoric human inhabitants around fourteen thousands years ago! Unfortunately they had to close to actual caves in the 1950s and 1960s as they deteriorated due to the moisture released by the breathe of visitors, so you can only see a replica. Terry wasn’t too sure it was worth the trip to see the replica, he is a cave addict so he thought he’d be disappointed!

We were now on night three of the motorhome and so had a bit of a routine going for the nighttime and even the morning ‘set up’. This kicked in at our rough time, we had our dinner routine set up, Terry did his part and I had my responsibilities. Sounds odd, but in such a confined space, you really do need to have set roles, especially with a child/baby!

Whilst Ethan slept, we planned the next day, cant wait for another day of awesome sight seeing and learning more about how to travel as we grow together! Bring on the sunshine!

Travel as they grow verdict: Well worth the visit for a little historical imagination. Plus free overnight parking for the motorhome!

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