Iâ€™ve been exploring some of northern Spain over the summer â€“ as least as much as one can with two young children in tow – including the majestic cities of Oviedo and Burgos. We skipped the showers in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias, and strolled along some of the beautiful streets and past old stone palaces and squares, doing our best to avoid the call of too many sidrerÃas (cider bars).
In Castilla y LeÃ³n, Burgosâ€™s 13th century cathedral, with its sculpture masterpieces and elaborate retablos is as impressive as any of Europeâ€™s famous cathedrals including St Paulâ€™s in London and St Peterâ€™s in Rome. But unlike the British or Italian capitals, when you leave both Burgos and Oviedo cathedrals youâ€™re greeted by elegant, compact and relaxed cities. Itâ€™s a gentle return to the 21st century. Some of the statues still showed traces of Spain’s recent World Cup glory.
Of course the kids were happiest when our adventures ended on one of the magnificent sandy beaches along the Asturian coast â€“ as often as not back-dropped by the peaks of the Cantabrian mountains and Picos de Europa. The sea temperature was perfect for swimming and the waves just right for a spot of body surfing.
All these photos were taken with my newish Canon G11 camera, which is proving to be a small but capable piece of kit to have in the proverbial back pocket.