Friday, 24 July 2009

picos de europa – day one

The ferry journey to Santander was uneventful. We tried to avoid the entertainment for as long as we could but failing light and the fact that once you’ve done a couple of laps of the ship there isn’t any where else you can go, we retired to the piano bar for a bottle of overpriced Bordeaux and catch the pianist doodling tunes in a tux on a white grand.

We arrived in Santander in a mizzling drizzle, not a good start and once we found the bus station and checked the time the bus left for Potes we went walkabout. Typically Spanish, the place was closed from two until five, which given that we wandered off the boat at one and the bus was at five, we had several hours to kill and nothing to kill them with. At least the bus station had a cafe.

Arriving at Potes we booked into the aptly named Hostal Picos de Europa dropped off the rucksacks and wandered around the town looking for supper.

Two things I’ve learnt (and it seems I keep forgetting and having to relearn them) is that don’t go to supermarket hungry and don’t wander round a foreign town is the same state. Passing a restaurant where a woman was tucking into a huge salad with a side of tortilla it seemed the ideal solution for our needs, sadly the food when it turned up was not as we thought we’d imagined it. I’ve never ever seem fake shrimp and crab before and don’t really want to again. Needless to state I hoiked the offending items off my plate. Penny, blessed with a sense of adventure that may lead to her insides undoing, ate some of them. They sort of tasted fishy but had the texture of overcooked pasta was how she described them. The cheap local wine was very drinkable however.

On the run up to the trip food had been a major worry for me and this didn’t bode well. We found a supermercado that was going to prove itself useful the following day and offered me some hope for the days ahead.


Unknown said...

I lived in Spain last year for five months, and in that time was able to almost always avoid the "tourist trap" restaurants. But the few times that I ate in them, I was in the same situation than you were: Very hungry. I hope the next days the food was better, as Spain has a magnificent cuisine (and cheap alcohol =)!

baz carter said...

More to come on the food, and yes the food is magnificent. I try and do it justice when at home like at the moment I'm cooking my very first Fabada.