Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Colours of Asturias

Asturias is a land of many contrasts, a tapestry of rich and diverse landscapes that never fail to inspire. Sited on Spain’s Costa Verde, the Green Coast, Asturias celebrates its beauty by claiming to be a natural paradise.

The beach at "Cuevas del Mar"

Climbing above the clouds in the Picos de Europa

The Bay of Biscay’s water offers blue and aquamarine vistas edged with golden sands and pebble beaches. Summer brings expanses of clear blue sky with occasional visits from grey and silver clouds that carry rain to nourish and refresh. In its prime, the sea is bejewelled with white surf and spray that crashes into rocky shores and shifting yellow sands. Surfers glisten like grey seals carry boards emblazoned with vibrant and fluorescent shapes. There are many beaches to mention but Torimbia, Espasa, Vega and La Isla bring year round joy to young and old alike, fresh, energised air and water that helps you absorb the seascapes and gain inner calm.

The beach at Torimbia

Lobster pots at Ribadesella

The Costa Verde reflects its shades of green throughout its lush valleys, deciduous woodlands and evergreen forests. As autumn falls the greens fade to hues of yellow, chestnut, mahogany, orange and burnt umber as the cooler air and winter beckons. The woodlands open to reveal concealed views of grey limestone scree and platinum tinted mountains. Topped with crisp white snow that glistens in the golden winter sun, the slopes are punctuated by twisted evergreen oaks laid bear to the seasons. The mountains are majestic in their shape shifting as the sun casts shadow and changes shade. The Ponga woodlands, the Pesanca trail, the Picos de Europa and the Sueve mountains show with pride their palette of many colours.

Horses drinking from a stream in the foothills of the Picos

The high mountain peaks in the western massif

Irisis in the wood on the hotel farm

The meadows of Asturias present a riot of colour to attract flora, fauna and fungi that flourish in unique and pristine conditions. The seasons advance and rotate a rich colour wheel from red through to yellow, from blues towards violet and indigo. Dying flowers dry to sculptured, straw-coloured seed heads before being cut to help shed their seed to replenish the carpet of flowers for next year.

Wild flowers in the hotel meadows

Gorse in flower in the Ponga mountains

The Towns, Cities and Villages of Asturias offer a muted palette of life out of season with less hustle and bustle but always filled with the most colourful characters with endless stories to tell and pictures of life to paint. As holidays and vacation time approaches, the people of Asturias prepare to welcome new guests and old friends from vibrant lands further a field. With many opportunities for Asturian culture and customs to shine at fiesta time, generations gather to dress in richly coloured and decorated costumes and to dance and merry make to the rhythm of pipe and drum. The colours of the Asturian flag reflecting those of the sun and sky as it waves in the evening breeze and is paraded with pride by its kith and kin.

The sea town of Cudillero

The Sunday market at Cangas de Onis

The colours of Asturias paint many fond and lasting memories for someone like me who relocated here after using Posada del Valle as a base for several holidays and for all those who visit and take time to soak up the experience. Many return, eager to experience and remember more images from the Asturian land, sea and sky. For the artist, photographer, writer, poet, traveller or voyager, the colours of Asturias will truly inspire and prove its worth as a natural paradise.

Sunset over a sea of clouds above the Carres gorge.

Entrance written by Ian Hicken

No comments:


Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.