A visit to Altamira NeoCave

September 28, 2017 - Puente Viesgo, Spain

Another lazy morning and a relaxed breakfast. It's nice to be in the country.

Before heading off for the day we tried to convince Miss Leading to take us to Altamira cave, Cueva del Altamira, Museum of Altamira or Museo del Altamira, all to no avail. We had to settle on setting a destination as Santilla del Mar and presume we would find signs.

As we approached Santilla del Mar we did find signposts and I thought I would stop and try to program Miss Leading once more. No different, even searching near our current location so we turned her off and relied on old-fashioned technology, signposts and a navigator. That worked well and we soon arrived at the carpark and bought ourselves tickets. The tickets give you access to the museum all day and a timed access to the replica cave ('NeoCave'). Our tickets were for 12.40pm so we could take about half an hour in the museum beforehand and then come back after.

The 'NeoCave' has displays of Palaeolithic life and about archaeology and excavation all with information in Spanish and English and then into a large area with a full scale replica of the painted roof of the main chamber. It is covered in black and red ochre paintings of deer, bison, buffalo and horses. But there are also many inscribed drawings of animals as well. Not the real thing but it was nearly as good and if it helps preserve the real thing from acid air, micro-organisms and altered air currents then I am all for it.

An English couple and an enthusiastic guide helped us spot the little things. The guide had very little English but his mime and his enthusiasm was very good and left us feeling pleased with the conversation (or was it a charade).

After that interlude we went back to the museum exhibits. A lot of the artefacts on display were replicas of material we had seen in Santander but that did not diminish the effect nor detract from the experience of seeing these things. If anything it reinforced the memory of some of the things we had seen.

We left about 4.30pm to drive back to Villa Arce for a siesta and some journal work while we waited for dinner once again. We are definitely not Spanish in our mealtimes and nor are our stomachs.

At around quarter to 8pm we drove down to the village to return to La Union for our last meal in Puente Viesgo. Our waiter/barman remembered us and we sat on the covered patio for a beer and nibbles until we were ushered into the dining room. Tonight we were the only people in there. When the waiter came to take our order it was him who proffered the 'Sin ajillo, si'. 'Si, si', said I and he nodded approvingly at my choice of Salmon de planchet (grilled salmon) which was superb. 'Ensalada o patatas frites?', asked the waiter but I demanded both. It was delivered with half serves of both salad and chips which was a good choice. Margaret chose scaloppini Cordon bleu (guess what that is!) which she said was good but a bit heavy and using iberico ham leaves it a bit salty. We went for the bottle of Rioja Croto which we had enjoyed last time. Perhaps we should have tried another as they were all the same €10.50 a bottle.

We decided that had been quite enough for anyone and just had coffee to finish and the waiter brought out an Irish Cream type liqueur for Margaret and a Honey liqueur for me to finish the meal.

Another great day.


Deer head carving
The crowds gathered in the afternoon
Altimira Cave art
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