Spain Day 16 - Fuente De and Comillas
Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
77Trip End Sep 01, 2008
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An early start (greeted by a small herd of torros as we head out our front door), and then we all hop in the car towards our first destination, Potes. I'm expecting windy roads (our neighbors warned us ahead of time) ... but I'm surprised to find that along with the narrow two lane roads (one each way), there are also large bigrigs and RV's trucking along. Janice tried to capture how close we were to colliding with the oncoming traffic ... notice the RV's wheels. YIKES! Thats CLOSE!
We arrive in Potes and are very pleasantly surprised to find the city is pretty cool
Another 20km away from Potes, Fuente De is the home of the world's third largest teleferico (large tram sort of thing, almost like a ski lift). Good lord. This thing is ridiculously scary looking from the ground. The station near the parking lot gives us a view of the tram. This first picture of the mountains actually has the tram wire in the photo and you can see that the wire virtually disappears as it climbs up the height of the cliff face. CRAZY.
The cabin itself holds a maximum of 20 people plus the conductor. Our group fills it completely, but we do roughly half of our group are children, so we have plenty of breathing room (and weight to spare). As the tram pulls us higher and higher, my knees start shaking and a beads of sweat start forming on my forehead
Fuente De is AMAZING. Unfortunately, the minute we get there, the battery symbol pops up on our digital camera so I have to limit the number of photos I take. But wow. The best way to describe the experience is to try to imagine that you've never before seen a picture or painting of Yosemite and then stumbled upon it one day. The sheer magnitude of the scenery would be awe inspiring, even more so since you weren't expecting it. In the same way, the peaks of these mountains just took our breath away. As we step off the tram, even the kids have started to get scared. Immediately to our left is the cliff. Too scary to look at for now, so we hike up the hill a bit to gather ourselves. We are surprised to find thousands of ladybugs flying around! Everywhere. On the ground, in the air, scurrying around rocks. The kids were delighted and ran around on an endless ladybug hunt (no killing allowed). They both have such a fear of insects that neither let the ladybugs crawl on them, but Samuel was brave enough to extend his walking stick to the critters as a temporary home
We were so high up, the clouds were lingering right around us ... whirling about as quick as I've ever seen clouds move. Snow can be seen approximately 2km up the hill from where we are. Children running around in awe, ... And then, Momma Janice spotted the Rock Biter! (Neverending Story reference...) ... Yes, here, we've discovered that this is not a fictional character. He is real!!! See the eyes, the long nose, the mouth?! Kids loved it.
After exploring for a couple of hours, we headed back to the tram. I ditched the kids with Janice and headed towards a special vista point. They have a thing built where you actually walk out on to a platform that hangs OVER THE CLIFF, where you can feel the wind blow all around you, and you can see through the grate below ... pretty scary and cool. Trying to explain the impact of it all ... my vocabulary fails me.
We get buckled up in the car and head towards home
Back in the car, we head back home for a relaxing evening, then some work for me, then sleepytime. Fuente De was definitely an amazing experience. Glad we went. The only thing we didn't do on this road trip was to visit the area's cities known for their blue cheese, Liebana. The local tourism office informs us that they will be holding the 5th annual cheese festival this Saturday. If we don't find something more appealing, we may be back for some free cheese samples and festivities.