Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread is from my recent holiday in Northern Spain, we stayed for a few days in the Basque Country and a few days in Asturias. There are links to the big city threads in my signature, these photos are of the beaches, villages and countryside.

Enjoy.

The first place we stayed in was the small village of Mundaka near to Bilbao. It is a surfing centre situated on a tidal estuary, our campsite bungalow had this beautiful view!!

High tide


Low tide


Sunset!


Boats in the estuary







The Euskotren from Bilbao to Bermeo passes right next to the river and sea, we took it to Bilbao one day.



Nice house overlooking the water



Mundaka town. Development in this part of Spain is very dense, even small towns of 10,000 people consist mostly of apartment buildings up to 10 storeys which makes them very compact, a town of similar size here in the UK would probably take up three or four times the land area.



Mundaka from across the water


The view across the other side of the estuary



The fishing port of Leikeito, another small yet dense town.

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
We visited the brilliantly preserved 16th century village of Santillana del Mar near to Santander in Cantabria. It is still lived in but because it is so well preserved it is thronged with tourists and tourist shops unfortunately (damn those tourists ;) )























 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Northern coast of Spain is not as well known internationally for beach tourism as the mediterranean coast but there are some great little coves with quiet beaches and some nice, low key coastal resorts on the coast of Asturias .

These photos were taken in and around the town of Llanes.















 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After two weeks, time to go home, we took the ferry back from Santander to Plymouth in the UK, an 18 hour journey.

Didn't have much time to look around Santander but I took these photos from the ship as we were departing.





























 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Land Ahoy! After 18 hours at sea and a restful nights sleep, we arrive back in the UK at Plymouth.









 

·
That's what she said
Joined
·
1,792 Posts
Really good shots as usual! Congrats!

Mundaka is one of my favourites towns in the Basque Country, maybe along with Hondarribia and Bermeo. The estuary is really nice.

Santillana del Mar is known as the 'village of the three lies', since it isn't holy (Santi-), nor flat (-llana) and has no sea (del Mar). As you said it is great preserved but the amount of gift-shops and tourists minimize its charm. I go there pretty often.

Llanes has some really beautiful beaches indeed. I love the views from Ribadesella promenade, with a nice estuary and the mountains so close to the sea.

The bay where Santander is located is gorgeous. At least you could enjoy it from the sea. Was the journey to Plymouth too tiring? I would like to take it or something similar in the future.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^ Thanks, yes I liked Bermeo but didn't get round to taking any potos for some reason :eek:hno:

The Santander-Plymouth journey was actually nice and relaxing, everybody gets a cabin so you can sleep overnight, shower and arrive first thing in the morning refreshed.

The facilities are also good on the ship, lots of restaurants, bars etc and cinemas too.

It's a good experience but expensive, we only chose it because we had a car to transport. If you don't want to take a car, it would be easier and cheaper to fly.

If you live near to Santander it might be interesting to go as a foot passenger, Devon and Cornwall are nice areas to visit in the UK.
 

·
vagamundo
Joined
·
11,736 Posts
The North coast use to be less touristical than Mediterranean sea due to the climate. In the mediterranean ALWAYS is sunny in summer, but, in the north coast not always, and thats a problem to all those people who just have 15 to make their holidays.
The major presence of tourism is from people who lives near the coast but dont have sea in their hometowns :yes:

Mundaka has a probe in the world surf tournament. The surfers say that this beach has the best left-wave of the world. Anyway, I dont surf so I dont know if its true :lol:

Santander its a big city too (around 200.000 inhabitants) and its known to be a classical city. The Sardinero quartier, in front of the beach, its a nice quartier with reformed old buildings. Then, the city also have a palace bounded by the sea in little peninsula. Is called La Magdalena.

Thanks for the pics and your own view of our country :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,363 Posts
Even though the buildings are ugly, the spaniards got it right with their urban policies....

This is what should have been done in France ages ago instead of constructing so many individual homes....
 

·
vagamundo
Joined
·
11,736 Posts
^^ I dont agree. The buildings in this thread are not ugly. Only the commieblocks in Santander that is not a small city (200.000 inhabitants). The small villages like Santillana del Mar, or Mundaka dont have ugly buildings in my opinion.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@ Eklips & Weird

I think that some of the apartment blocks are not too pretty and in some towns a few could do with some external maintenance but this is not unique to apartment blocks. In countries like France or the UK where individual houses are more common, many of these are also ugly or in need of refurbishment.

I think that the dense model of Spanish towns is good though, it enables public transport to function well, it preserves nature outside the towns by limiting sprawl and allows a social way of living, the relative lack of private space means that planners put far more emphasis on high quality public spaces; squares, small parks etc and people seem to use these as a part of their daily lives more than in most of Northern Europe.

If all of the apartment buildings were as good as the best ones, it would be even better but I guess that is not possible in reality.

One thing that I don't find attractive about larger Spanish towns and cities (and also French to an extent) is that next to the roads approaching the city there are often hundreds of unattractive advertising boards for hotels, garages, supermarkets, McDonalds, petrol stations etc. We must have stricter regulations against this in the UK as it doesn't seem to happen so much here.
 

·
Madrileñian member
Joined
·
13,547 Posts
Oh! Nice pics (but smalls)... ;)

You don't travel to Galicia! :O ¬¬ The most green provinces in Spain are:
-Pontevedra
-La Coruña
-Lugo
-Asturias
-Cantabria
-Álava
-Guipúzcoa
-Vizcaya
-Navarra (north)
-La Rioja (south)
-Orense
-Huesca (north)
-Lleida (north)
-Girona (north)
-León

Other many zones of Spain have looots of amazings mountains, but the really green all year is in north, in the last provinces.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
^^ Yeah yeah, driving from Shrewsbury to Oviedo is far enough, if I had an extra week I would have gone to Galicia too but I didn't have time. I have a Galician-English friend and she has already chastised me for not visiting her parents home province. :)
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
9,360 Posts
I think that the dense model of Spanish towns is good though, it enables public transport to function well, it preserves nature outside the towns by limiting sprawl and allows a social way of living, the relative lack of private space means that planners put far more emphasis on high quality public spaces; squares, small parks etc and people seem to use these as a part of their daily lives more than in most of Northern Europe.
Good analysis. In addition, probably one of the most important pros of the Spanish housing model is the fact that it's very friendly for retailing since it usually provides premises on the ground floor of the apartment buildings, so it allows the presence of businesses in residential areas, and that's exactly one of the main flaws of the functionalist model (something even more problematic in the individual houses model obviously). That's because this Spanish model is not just dense but also very compact, the streets aren't specially wide in the newly-built parts of the cities, at least not as broad as those in similar 'rationalist', dense, neighborhoods in other countries, and unlike those districts in some other nations, the residential buildings aren't generally surrounded by green and public areas (as the 'corbusian', rationalist city, proposed); so all the buildings stand very close to each other, forming closed city blocks and a grid pattern plan which is able to combine housing with retail stores and other businesses, just like the typical expansions of the 19th century. Also, this kind of urban practice allows to insert office buildings in residential zones, or within the very same apartment buildings, due to the urban homogeneity which means for example that the accesibility is very similar for most of the districts and the distances are quite short at any place (so the location doesn't really matter at all), as a result of this it's hard to find 'downtowns' in Spanish cities, unless you go to some very specific places in the biggest towns (where actually office-buildings clusters exist mostly thanks to the promotion of specific areas for them and not for real clustering processes). I think it's basically the same kind of distribution that you can find in some of the central districts of some big European cities, such as Paris for example, but applied to the whole town, or at least the most of it. (After all this 'model' isn't nothing more than aplying the traditional urban structure to the modern cities).

The result of this is a total mixture between the residential and the commercial functions and hence the intraurban movements don't merge in concrete points. It also serves as a defence against malls (because it's always easier to go to a medium-sized supermarket next to the main entrance of your block than moving, by car, to the outskirts for going shopping to Carrefour, same for bars and so on) what is terribly helpful for brightening up the street life in every district and not just in the centre(s). The problems: it can get insanely dense, sometimes quite stressing, so that it's very dependent on the disponibility of public spaces, and usually those spaces are just not enough; sometimes the streets are indeed too narrow (this is usually due to some kind of corruption during the 60s and 70s, the construction companies lobbies used to get more space for building at the expense of the road network and public spaces) and therefore may get collapsed because of traffic; if you want it to work properly, this model requires a very well designed (and specially complex for the relative lack of centers) hierarchy for the road network which sometimes doesn't exist at all, so certain medium-sized towns, which cannot afford a good mass transport system, suffer from traffic problems (and jams in so very compact cities are not very pleasant); then you have of course the infamous looking of most of the buildings raised during the 50s, 60s, 70s and even the 80s: cheap materials and an 'aggresive' looking (balconies and so on), however this has nothing to do with the urban pattern we're speaking about, at least not directly.

Anyway all the problems that this model avoids are very real in some parts of the most significant metro areas with huge districts of low density housing, so it's true that Spanish cities don't suffer from certain troubles within their urban cores or in small and medium-sized cities, but concerning the metropolitan areas the problematic issues are mainly the same as in the rest of Europe. (I know it was too long, sorry :nuts:)
 

·
Madrileñian member
Joined
·
13,547 Posts
^^ Yeah yeah, driving from Shrewsbury to Oviedo is far enough, if I had an extra week I would have gone to Galicia too but I didn't have time. I have a Galician-English friend and she has already chastised me for not visiting her parents home province. :)
Ok! ;) The big cities of Galicia are not precius (Vigo & Coruña), they are nice but not amazings, I prefere Coruña... It's more dense and more city than Vigo... (but Vigo is bigger)
Beatifoul cities in Galicia, err... I don't know very very well Galicia, but I think Santiago, Orense, Pontevedra, Lugo and looots of villages... I have a thread of beatifoul villages in Galicia, if you go there you can asked me ;)
 
G

·
If you live near to Santander it might be interesting to go as a foot passenger, Devon and Cornwall are nice areas to visit in the UK.
I did that! I wasdoing my teahing practises in Plymouth (Devonshire). I don't like Plymouth, but Devon is really beautiful (Exeter too).

Thank you for your pics!!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
^^Yeah, Plymouth itself is not the most beautiful city in the world but the rest of the county is beautiful and Cornwall has some great beaches and nice little fishing villages.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top