Gone were the sounds of cowbells echoing through mountain valleys as we cycled through the Picos de Europa of northern Spain.
The cows and sheep on green hills and rock ledges had been replaced by miles of fine sand beach hugging the Spanish city of Santander.
Looking out from our hotel balcony onto the sea, of the 78 million people who live in Spain, approximately half appeared to be at the beach.
A sea of humanity with thousands of multicolored sun umbrellas planted tip to tip for as far as our eyes could see. The contrast of cycling the day before less than 100 miles apart left us open mouthed and stunned.
Between where the umbrellas stopped and the several hundred feet into the ocean (the water remains shallow for a great distance), stood thousands of vacationing Spaniards.
We dared each other to walk along the beach at the water’s edge and soon became immersed in the throngs.
Apparently overdressed in shorts and T-shirts we stood out as though hit the beach in down filled parkas, mittens and toques. Clothing appeared to be a guideline here and we obviously had far too much of it on for local custom.
As we ventured into the maze of people I said to Hubby ”If I lose you I will meet you at the hotel .” Where is a cowbell when you need one?
Would you prefer cycling in the quiet mountains or the playing at the crowded beach?