In September this year, Dave and I joined some of his family on a long weekend to Ribadesella in Spain.
Day 1 – Friday.
Having travelled up to stay with Dave’s cousin and her boyfriend the night before, we caught our flight from Manchester Airport in the early afternoon. As we sat behind Laurie and Dan, we had great fun trying to get selfies and enjoying celebratory drinks.
We were met by Dave’s father and uncle after landing in Bilbao, who kindly drove us to Ribadesella. As soon as we arrived, we dropped off our belongings at the AirBnb flat we shared with Dave’s parents. The apartment was great – even though I stupidly forgot to take any photos of it, other than the one below! Located in the centre of the city, it made it ideal for getting around and meeting the others, who were staying just outside of Ribadesella. It was also a decent size and tastefully decorated. Penny and Graham had done brilliantly finding it!
After a quick freshen up, we headed back out to meet the rest of the family who’d been spending the week. It was an extra special reunion, as Dave had not seen his uncle and auntie from Australia in over 15 years!
To finish off the day, a few of us headed for a tapas dinner near the waterfront, followed by a couple more drinks at the weekend’s favourite haunt: Cafe Begantin.
Day 2 – Saturday.
Saturday started with a well-needed lie in and breakfast in the apartment. Penny and Graham then proceeded to show us the town and the waterfront.
Ribadesella was surprisingly beautiful! As we ambled through the streets, I couldn’t help but admire the charming and colourful buildings that lined them. There were also impressive views as we crossed the bridge to get to the other side of the town. And the fish! There were loads swimming lazily in the clear water! It was an unexpected gem of a place.
Once across the bridge, we were faced with the beach, sea and cliffs either side. Yet again, it was beautiful! With the walking and already warm sunshine making us thirsty, we paused at a beach cafe to enjoy a Café con leche and people watch.
Once the coffees has disappeared, we gently strolled back in to the centre of town in search of a snack. We soon found a bakery selling delicious pastries stuffed with hazelnut praline and coated in sugar. The Casadiella de Nuez were heart-attacks in pastry form but so good!
With it turning 12pm, we were joined by the rest of the group and sat outside the Sidrería Casa Gaspar bar. It was perfect drinking weather and we were even lucky enough to watch a wedding party arrive and go in to the nearby church. The women, in particular, were looking gorgeous! And the bride? Well, she looked like a vision!
After a menú del día lunch – 12 euros for three-courses and wine…I know!! – the ‘youngsters’ split off and found a shady area to drink even more wine and beer. There were also plenty of baby cuddles with the utterly adorable and impressively well-behaved Imogen!
Wanting to walk off some of the food in preparation for the evening meal, Dave and I headed off to see the Ermita de la Virgen de Guía, a church that overlooks Ribadesella. It was scorching by this point and therefore, we took our time ambling up the hill.
As we climbed higher, the views became more and more impressive. We also spotted plenty of Common Wall Lizards basking in the sunshine and dogs watching the passer-by’s. As we reached the top, we greeted by incredible views of Ribs, as well as the coastline.
As mentioned in the Marseille City Break post, I like to adventure on holidays whereas Dave prefers to relax. This means we always compromise and after the afternoon ramble, we headed back down to the streets and found ourselves back in the bar with Dave’s parents – as you can tell, this was rather a boozy and foodie trip!
The rest of the evening was spent enjoying another delicious meal and more drinks before retiring to bed, feeling full, tired and happy.
Day 3 – Sunday.
After a long lie in, Dave and I – accompanied by slightly fuzzy heads – went in search of something to wake us up. This came in the form of strong coffee at Cafetería Capri.
Two cups later and we went exploring. Although overcast, the day was still mild and we soon walked off our hangovers with the refreshing sea air. The promenade was lovely and being below the Ermita de la Virgen de Guía, gave us a different view of the town from what we had seen the day before.
For our last full afternoon in Spain, Dave and I spent some time with his Australian uncle and auntie. We visited the villa they were staying in and I had a quick family photoshoot with Bryony, Jamie and Imogen! Then we headed out for a ramble in the local area. Unfortunately, I was experiencing an error on my DSLR – thankfully now fixed by Canon’s speedy repair service! – and only managed to get a couple of photos. But the walk was great nonetheless! Luscious countryside and magnificent hills were all around us, it looked like something out of a ‘Lord of the Rings‘ film.
During our walk, Rae and I were talking about our love for cameras. Having been distracted by nattering, we hadn’t realised the others had gone far ahead. We were then met by two Spanish ladies chattering away to us and pointing at the hedge row. Thinking they were suggesting a photo opportunity, we moved over and stood in the grass trying to find what they were looking at. When we found nothing, we turned around to spot a herd of cows coming down the road. It was then that we realised the ladies had been advising us to move off the road! We watched as the cattle strutted down the road, complete with a handful of calves and a massive bull! It was quite the unexpected but fun experience!
To make the most of our limited time with the Aussie family, Dave’s parents accompanied us for a meal at the pub not far from the villa. The atmosphere was lovely and we sat in the patio garden for hours. One of the food highlights from the trip was Fabada. Fabada is a Spanish bean stew that has chunks of chorizo, black pudding and pork. It was scrumptious! It was also filling and would be the perfect autumn/winter meal; we definitely plan on making it at home!
The other half of the party had eaten in Ribadesella but joined us for a nightcap and more fun. The trip was so full of laughter and love, it was the perfect evening to end our time there.
Day 4 – Monday
Dave, Laurie, Dan and I flew sadly home on Monday morning. Although Dave and I weren’t overly keen to visit Ribadesella to start with, we would certainly recommend it as a holiday destination! It has everything you could need: a town full of character and history, beautiful, sandy beaches, a few local attractions to visit for days out and plenty of busy cafés, bars and restaurants which offer tables that spill out on to the streets, as well as, delectable food and drink.
We had an absolutely brilliant time in Ribadesella and I feel incredibly lucky to have a boyfriend with such a wonderful family. Now Dave and I are looking forward to our next break: a long weekend in the Lake District for New Year!