April in the north of Spain

Blossom in Bierzo

… and for us a few days of pure spring heaven, travelling in the Bierzo region west of Leon and then over the dramatic San Glorio pass (1609 metres) and through the snow-capped Picos to the verdant hills of Cantabria.

Cherry Blossom in El Bierzo

We arrived with the sun, and in the high valleys of El Bierzo (you’re up at 800 metres or more), an area renowned through Spain for its fruit, vegetables and rich subtle wines, the warmth and light of spring were starting to work their magic. Everywhere are cherry trees, and plum, and apple and pear – and everywhere blossom opening into life, white clouds of beauty floating above the fresh bright greens of new grass. The poplars just begin to unfurl their lime-yellow leaves, but the recently pruned vines are dark twisted knobbles.

And down the mountainsides, through the valleys, snow-fed streams are full, their waters clear as glass.

Cantabrian Spring

In Cantabria spring is more advanced, everything is green, every shade of green, and it seems that in every meadow are foals, calves, lambs and their mums. We walked from the village along the ancient Camino de los Moros, around the hillside, across a stream. We lost count of the varieties of wildflowers along the way, from primroses and violets and to anemones and hellebores, just wish we were botanists.

Down on the coast the sea is agleam and a few brave souls are in the water, everyone out and about revelling in the sunshine and the freshness of April. We’re so glad to be here, it’s enchanting, the air so pure, the feeling that all is renewed, alive, ready and joyous…we return home renewed ourselves.

Wild Flower, San Vicente de Monte

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