1. August 2015. One of the coolest things I did during my month-long stay in Castro Urdiales was the thirty-minute hike from town up into the hills to see The Virgin Mary Statue. If my boss hadn’t taken me I would never even have known about it, as it certainly wasn’t mentioned online or in any of the sightseeing leaflets down by the port. It’s a little tricky to find the start of the trail, follow the signposts from town that read: De Ermita de la Virgen until you reach a footbridge over Sámano Junction of the A8 motorway. As landmarks go this green building with Castro Urdiales written on it is a decent one, though you’ll still have to poke around a little to find the unmarked trail that leads up into the hills.
2. August 2015. Passing through thick woodland, the trail soon comes out into a clearing where the path winds up around an overgrown incline of bushes, plants, flowers and rocks. It was actually quite the adventure, with crows cawing overhead and even a hissing snake slithering a few meters in front of me between the rocks.
3. August 2015. At the top of the hill the way opens up into a gravelly road and several rocky outcrops for fine views back down over the town. We were also met by half a dozen or so mountain goats chewing on grass. They were very wary of us and didn’t let me get too close.
4. August 2015. The largely colorless statue itself is nothing spectacular, it’s literally all about the location. On arrival there were a trio of goth teenagers eyeing us us suspiciously as they sat smoking. I wondered if one of them was the same Sergio who’d taken the time to decorate the structure with some graffiti of his name.
5. August 2015. The views are just amazing, particularly at sunset and even on an overcast day such as this one. In this photo you can see part of Brazomar Beach and the expanse of Cotolino Park beyond.
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