Camino del Norte Norte Cantábrico Gallega Ingles Spain

Day 0: Copenhagen to Santander

Today I embark on the 4th stage of my walk between Sagres on the Algarve coast of Portugal and the Italian capital, Rome. My three previous stages took me from Sagres to Porto, Porto to A Coruna in northern Spain, and Roquefort on the Cote d’Azur to La Spezia in the Cinque Terre National Park in Italy.

This 4th stage,  takes me back to the northern Spanish coast where I plan to walk between Santander and A Coruna – 23 days, ca. 650kms with an elevation profile over 15.000m. My goal is to walk as much as possible along the coast, and therefore I will, when possible, be taking a number of alternative routes than the official Camino del Norte, which shares its time between the coast and inland.

I will be roughly following four different Camino’s (paths) during the course of the 23 days:

  • Camino del Norte from Santander to Ribadeo, approximately 400km,
  • Cantabrian Sea Nature Trail from Ribadeo to Ortigueira, approximately 140km
  • Costa Galega, between Ortigueira and Ferrol for 65km
  • Camino Ingles between Ferrol and Mino and then backroads to A Coruna.

It’s going to be a heavy start, with six of the first seven stages over 30km.

You can see the whole route here:

This morning, my wife, Lene, dropped me off at the metro and I flew with Veuling to Bilbao. They even took off 10 mins earlier than scheduled. Backpack safely arrived, I took a local bus to the Bilbao bus station, passing the very impressive Guggenheim – I’ll have to stay longer next time – and then another bus to Santander, passing through a very green and undulating landscape. It was raining, not the start I had hoped for.

I arrived in Santander at 4pm, just as the sun started to shine. The hostel was a 10 minute walk from the bus station and dead centre of town, opposite a popular square full of playing children.

I dropped off my stuff, and went for a walk, visiting the impressive cathedral Santa Iglesia, where the lady let me in for free because I was walking …

the Porticada square, …

through the commercial district, a long tree-lined walking street and the escalators to transport people up the hills ….

and back to the spectacular Botin Cultural Centre ….

that had an excellent exhibition by Shipa Guta, which was quite interesting.

On the table above, each shape and colour can be found in a country or maritime flag. The picture above is a book consisting of drawings of the outline of Spain, drawn from memory and a fan blowing open the pages. The picture above again states “I live under your sky too” in English and Spanish, first lighting in Spanish only, English only and then both.

I walked along the coast passing a landmark crane, a remnant from a bygone age when Santander was a busy port, and a sculpture, Los Raqueros, boys jumping into the harbour, to collect coins thrown in by passers by.

It was just past 20.00 when I managed to get a table in a packed bar come restaurant. I got through a mixed salad, big enough for two, a very tender and tasty entrecote and lemon mousse. Later I saw on Trip Advisor that it was one of Santander’s highest rated restaurants.

Tomorrow I start walking along the coast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *