Murray & Christine's record of their journey.
"A day in a car in an English county is a trip to a fairy museum where all the exhibits are live and real." Rudyard Kipling
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Luarca – 18 March 2012
The fact that it was an early start to catch the only morning train did not matter as we were woken even earlier by the pilgrims setting off on the next leg of their walk to Santiago de Compostela. Presumably they were the same pilgrims that had woken us late at night when they arrived.
Coffee and a pastry to go had us on the platform in good time for the 07:47 which was just as well as the train was half the size of yesterdays and every seat was taken. Our smug satisfaction at acquiring great forward facing seats lasted 20 minutes until Trubia where the train reversed direction.
As yesterday, the train wound up and over the hills, along river gorges. through many tunnels and across a few viaducts; showing why the builders decided on a narrow gauge railway.
Eventually we arrived at Luarca, once again at the same time as the rain. Since the walk to town was about 2km we were pleased that the rain was short lived. This turned out to be the pattern for the day, sunshine punctuated by short sharp showers.
Once we had arranged our accommodation we spent the day exploring in between sheltering from the rain in cafés, bars and churches. Luarca is situated in a cove surrounded by steep hills and bisected by a river. The river is spanned by 7 foot and road bridges, giving multiple opportunities to cross back and forth as you explore.
Climbing from one side of of the river leads to a cemetery at the top of the hill, this cemetery is said to be one of the most distinctive in Asturias. The wall-to-wall white marble gleams in the sun with the blue sky and sea beyond and even provides a stark contrast when the sky is a forbidding black. A little further on is an old chapel right behind and even taller than the lighthouse.
Climbing up from the other side of the river, one finds another much smaller chapel and then you are quickly into rural Spain where every house seemed to be equipped with a rustic old granary balanced on distinctive rat-proof supports.