The ferry 4th & 5th June
Early on the 4th June we drove down to Portsmouth to board the Brittany ferry Baie de Seine for an overnight crossing to Bilbao in Northern Spain. We found our cabin, but quickly went on deck to enjoy the sights of the port. We have enjoyed holidays in the area and it was quite a trip down memory lane, travelling past quayside old pubs and the historic dockyards, HMS Warrior clearly seen. We have often sat on Southsea seafront enjoying the views. We followed other ferries out into the English channel, skirting the Isle of Wight. Back to the cabin, our home for a while, we enjoyed an evening meal in the restaurant then settled down to a gentle rocking sleep. The next morning followed by a “full English breakfast” we were by now heading South through the Bay of Biscay for our first views of Spain.
Cangas de Onis, Asturias 5th/6th June
We arrived in Zierbena the ferry port in mid afternoon and after disembarking safely were soon on the road, the Spanish lorry drivers were a little impatient, but we were heading west along the coast and quieter roads. The car has an excellent satellite navigation system on board, fortunately we were re-routed from the coast and busy bypasses inland through the valley of the “Parque Nacional de Los Picos de Europa”. The roads were quieter and the mountain views, green fields with cows and wonderful wild life. We arrived at Cangas de Onis in early evening, we managed to park right outside the Hotel Imperion which was our first stop. We were shown our room, which was luxurious, with a large balcony, with view over the Roman bridge. We set off to stretch our legs, we went in a Dia supermarket, a shop we always used and felt quite at home there, so after buying a few provisions we then found an interesting friendly bar for a couple of beers and tapas.
Over the road was a pizzeria, which looked welcoming and already busy despite that it was early for Spanish habits. A salad, garlic bread (I misunderstood the menu), two large pizzas and a bottle of wine later, two weary, merry travellers wandered back to the hotel. The next morning after a lovely breakfast in the hotel, we had a short walk round the town, it had rained and the clouds were low, we took more photos of the Roman bridge, shopped again in Dia and set off for our next hotel, as we joined the motorway towards Ourense behind us the beautiful snow capped mountains were a stunning backdrop.