We walked from Güemes to the city of Santander on Friday. The last part of our trek was a ferry ride. Several pilgrims aboard, but mostly local people using the ferry as a water taxi from one place to another.
Santander was a relatively short stay, and we were feeling the back side of a strenuous couple of days on the Camino. We didn’t do much exploration, but the hostel had a decent kitchen and we cooked pasta and made salad with a friend. The hostal manager, by the way, earned his degree in hospitality services at Florida International University – small world!
We decided to give our feet a rest and miss the industrial suburbs of the city by taking a bus to Santillana Del Mar the next morning. This gave us time to visit the Santander Cathedral (Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Santander) before we left.
The cathedral is part of a large complex built, expanded, and sometimes rebuilt over centuries. The earliest part of this complex was built in the 8th century on what had been a Roman settlement. With the present-day city surrounding the complex, it is difficult to see how close it is to the water and what must have been a very strategic location.
The cathedral is in a gothic style, and the beauty of the graceful arches in the interior was truly breathtaking. If we were only to see one place on our short stay in Santander, this was perfect.