The sleepy, pretty farming village of Cades in the stunningly beautiful Nansa valley in Cantabria, pulls in its fair share of visitors with its ethnographic museum “Ferreria de Cades”, at one time a forge, built in the mid C18th. Also it is near to the amazing caves of Soplao and Chufin.
However, besides these more obvious attractions, it has a very special hidden secret! As we wandered around the upper part of the village the other day we literally stumbled across a typical montañesa house with all sorts of curiosities hanging from its balcony.
Totally intrigued, we were suddenly beckoned to come inside! Gentle and welcoming, Isidoro Sanchez, opened the door to reveal a treasure trove of wooden carvings and old photographs, depicting rural life of days gone by.
Isidoro, born and bred in Cades, began his passion for carving wood whilst he was doing his military service in Bilbao, aged twenty one. He is now seventy and has an unbelievable and fascinating collection of figures, animals, carts, musical instruments, walking sticks, clogs and so much more, all showing agricultural and family life as it was fifty years ago.
A true craftsman, nothing is for sale. His pride and joy is to share what he has created of invaluable memories of the past with others. A memorable visit. Not to be missed.
To explore the wonderful Nansa Valley try our Mar y Montaña self-drive tour.