Temple in Spain Temple Summer

Saturday in the mountains

Last weekend I took a trip that school had arranged to some lakes in the Picos de Europa. I really appreciate the amount of effort the school has put into making this trip interesting. We haven’t been dropped into Oviedo to fend completely for ourselves. The first Friday we had a dinner for all students of the foreign language school. The following day was a bus trip to Astorga and León. This week we were invited on a trip to Parque Nacional Picos de Europa, a famous church, La Basilica de Santa María in the area called Covadonga and an ancient bridge in the town of Cangas de Onís. The bus drove up a very steep road that appeared to be one lane but was disproved by both our bus driver, and the one that was driving a bus in the opposite direction, displaying great skill managed to pass each other on a road that was quite narrow. As we climbed up to the park the driver would honk the horn when coming around a blind curve to warn oncoming traffic there was a large vehicle coming around the turn. We saw many cyclists climbing the road and I really wanted to get  out of the bus and ride with them. I am a firm believer in “earning my turns” as they say. I would rather climb to the summit under my own power rather than be dropped off at the top. I didn’t have a choice that day. As we climbed higher the vegetation changed from overhanging trees and a shady covered roadway to bushes and ultimately just grass and small plants with no trees. Everybody gasped in surprise when we rounded one corner to find a cow in the middle of the road. The bus driver honked his horn and went around the cow without a problem. Arriving at the parking lot it was cloudy and cool at the summit. There are two lakes to see. One visible as pulling into the parking lot and another a short hike away. There was a least one large group, over 25 people is my guess, of teens with backpacks on. It appeared they had camped overnight in the mountains. Because the weather is unpredictable in the mountains we had been told that we might not go to the lakes because they would have been virtually invisible. The other option was to go to the beach. Many of us were unclear which destination was the correct one so some of us were dressed for the beach and others for the mountains. I guessed correctly and had a long pants and a long sleeve shirt on but others had rolled the dice and were wearing sandals, shorts and short sleeve shirts. No one was going to die of hypothermia but I’m glad I had guessed right. The lakes were very beautiful and had a background of rock peaks that reminded my of the Torres del Paine in Patagonia. I’ve never been but they are to me an iconic image. The trip down the mountain was uneventful and the bus driver got to once again match his skill with another in passing on the narrow road. My favorite part of the day was sitting on a bench in the sun in the afternoon listening to popular dance music coming from an open door on a bus while in Spain on a Saturday without a care in the world.

 

A quick train or bus ride gets you to a beach.

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