Winter in Asturias

As we enter the second half of January, winter is finally arriving here in northern Spain. Over the weekend, from our home high in the Cordillera Cantábrica mountains of central Asturias, we watched a steady trip-trap of horses being led down from their grazing on the high plateaus, as farmers prepped for the predicted arrival of Storm Gérard. Our house is at 700m above sea level  and we are surrounded by high mountain passes and even higher peaks so it’s a great spot from which to witness the unfurling of winter. 

Given the forecast we decided to undertake the same pilgrimage as our farming neighbours, up onto one of those high plateaus. Our hike up to the Braña of Vicecenturo (approx 1,300m altitude) from the Puerto de Marabio (1,000m alt.) was, however, for pure pleasure; to simply breathe in the fresh mountain air and drink in the spectacular views before Gérard would keep us indoors for a few days. Here’s a selection of snaps from Saturday:

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Sure enough, today rain and wind have raged and the rivers are running in full spate, mini waterfalls sprout at the sides of the road that cuts through the steep-sided gorge at the bottom of our valley. On the early morning school run we passed the snow plough heading towards Puerto Ventana, on the border with León, where the snow will already be fast accumulating. 

Our usually spectacular views have been obscured and it’s been a great day for head-down office work, cracking on with all those mundane Monday tasks.  And all the while we are happy in the knowledge that when the rain does stop and the sun comes out it will be to dazzle upon gleaming white-capped peaks.

The excitement is palpable within the large winter and mountain sports community who have had to wait longer than usual for their playground to come into condition. The ski stations are scheduled to open on the weekend and the cross-country skiers and snowshoers will be out in force all over the Cordillera!

P.S. We know that weather and climate is a fascination for anyone with an interest in Asturias. Would you like to see more weather-related posts to get a feel for what the lived experience is? Please put your questions and suggestions below in the comments or email us at info@spanishpropertynorth.com

P.P.S. If you fancy visiting the trails and crags of Teverga for yourself then check out our holiday rental apartment in the heart of San Martín de Teverga

Below are some photos from the last big snow we had, in January 2021 when Storm Filomena passed through and when we got out snowshoeing at Marabio.

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More than just an estate agent…

I’ve never liked the term ‘estate agent’. There are far too many negative stereotypes associated with it. I am not that person. So I was delighted to read this piece written by some Danish clients of mine and find that they had coined a new title for me. Ambassador? I’ll take that…. 🙂

Read their beautifully written story here – and get inspired!

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We are Signe, Tarje and Roar, Danes and recent homeowners in the rocky part of Asturias; Quiros. We met Mary more or less by chance after having spent half a year on the road with our baby Roar. Before that we were working as respectively an academic and a nurse, but we have always had that nagging feeling that fulfilling the ideals of society was properly not the road to meaningful and happy lives for us. The courage to do something about it, however, only came with parenthood. And while it does take a lot of courage to break away from your routine, we have learned along the way that the shackles don’t just fall off simply because you start to rattle.

We had an idea that we wanted to find a place in Catalunya – and start building towards self-sustainability. However, while Spain is littered with old ruins in need of love – finding a suitable one for sale turned out to be an insurmountable task. While we liked the experience, Catalunya seem to be hit hard by drought-spells and increasing heat – and didn’t really feel like home to us. With a few rock climbing images from Asturias, our heads turned west, and the lushness here immediately felt right.

It is only after you have gone through the process yourself you realize how much work Mary has put into finding properties suitable for expats. Mary calls herself an estate agent, but we feel a more descriptive title would be ambassador. Of course she runs a business, but you can immediately tell her main focus isn’t improving her own margins, but bridging the substantial cultural gap it is for northern Europeans to buy property in Spain.

One show of the abandoned village Eros – halfway up a mountain – and we were sold. We are now a few months in, the house seems to have stopped crumbling down – the once omnipresent brambles are starting to reappear less and less and we are making the first moves at making our house liveable and our garden edible.