When i rolled on a wet evening into Santillana Del Mar, it brought back memories of my Santander to Malaga cycle in 2019 ( Crossing spain on a bike). On day 2 of that trip, i had cycled through Santillana del Mar early in the morning before the hordes of tourists arrived in this popular Cantabrian town.
This little gem of a town had left an impression on me, so this time round, i decided to stay the night in Santillana del Mar.
It was day# 1 of my Santander to Porto cycle, and after flying into Santander airport, i cycled the short 30km distance from the airport to reach the historic town of Santillana del Mar. After a quick check-in in my hotel (Hotel Colonial de Santillana) and a refreshing shower, i walked into the town.
Walking the cobbled streets, first thing i noticed was the deserted streets. On this particular evening in June, the weather decided to play havoc and rain kept everybody indoors.
For me, this made it all the more magical, walking along the cobbled streets of this medieval Cantabrian town, i admired the historical buildings. Where the entire town is a protected National Monument whose medieval architecture is some of the most important still standing in Spain, you would be forgiven to think that you walked on the film set of Games of Thrones or the Name of the Rose.
By the time I reached Plaza Abad Francisco Navarro, the few street lights came on as darkness fell over this Northern Spanish medieval town. Their light reflected on the wet cobbles around the old Lavadero where people once washed their clothes, the imposing door of the Colegiata de Santillana del Mar was locked for the night. Where the Romanesque church has its origins in a monastery dating from 870, it was transformed into a collegiate church during the 11th century.
The flower-filled balconies stood in stark contrast with the darkening sky which promised further rain for the night. Many of the historical houses have imposing coat of arms on their facades. These heraldic symbols were born around the 12th century to recognize nobles in combat, but were also used afterwards as a symbol of status and were placed on the houses of nobles.
Walking back to my hotel, I was looking forward to a well deserved dinner and a comfortable bed.