Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again
No matter how many times I hear this sentence, I still get goosebumps. Rebecca was one of my first classic films ever, but I only discovered the novel many years afterwards. By the age of six, I was completely familiar with Mr. and Mrs. Winter story but I could only understand its subtlety when I was quite older and an English student – the gentle references to Jane Eyre and the whole Gothic Novel genre, Mrs. Danvers personal motivation, the complex colour of Maximilian‘s emotions. For a long time, I would ramble about it for hours to anyone who would patiently listen to me and I can tell you I was an awfully persistent conversationalist…
Du Maurier work has always resonated with me on a deep level: old manor houses full of secrets? Just count me in! There is something indefinitely tempting when it comes to an old good English mystery tale. Most of my Winter school days were spent in the kitchen after homework, with a good book and a cup of tea. I was that girl in the class whose major role model was Miss Marple – but that’s a different story for a different time.
But long story short, I always thought the only way I would be able to admire the grand stately houses on her novels would be to travel abroad and, as I will expose in a minute, I was terribly wrong.
As I grew older, I fulfilled my secret ambition to visit England and see some of those great abandoned aristocratic houses with my own eyes. I traveled to visit the most majestic places in Berkshire, Sussex, and Essex, wandering through dark parlours and shady ballrooms, pretending to be the main character of some little Gothic novel.
I even spent a significant part of my then-so-scarce Au Pair allowance to get a National Trust membership which allowed me to access most historical places around the area. I don’t regret a thing about those early adventures but I am sad my main motivation was the blind conviction I would never experience anything similar in my own country. Knowledge, as it usually happens, only arrived after years of reading and some natural curiosity.
I am from Galicia – a Northern region in Spain. We have got breathtaking wild landscape: from sapphire blue waters to virgin woods. Our cathedrals are some of the oldest and better preserved in Europe and our Celtic origins make us different from anyone else in the country. And even so, I knew almost nothing about our historic heritage. Hence, (shame on me!) I was missing one of the most surprising and unknown treasures from my own country.
As I have previously stated, my homeland is full of beautiful castles and old mansions. By the time I finished university, I had traveled to see most of the region and I finally came to terms with the idea of the North being absolutely awesome. As a matter of fact, during my last Summer in Galicia, I read Rebecca again, only to realize I was living in a picturesque region which could perfectly match the novel. Therefore, today I am contempt to share some of my favourite spots with you.
These are some of the hidden gems in the Spanish coast.
Are you into wild landscapes and out-of-this-world views? Well, then you should block some time in your next Spanish holiday to visit this beach. Don’t expect the typical Caribbean style landscape, thought – Playa das catedrais is all about wild Northern beauty since it is wide-opened to the cold waters of the Cantabrian sea. We are speaking about rugged cliffs and pure air, the real Galician spirit. Please, be ready to get impressed (and take some unforgettable pictures).
This is one of my personal beloved spots, a place where I would frequently go to read during the holidays. As you can see in the pictures, it is a true time capsule hidden in a forest. The manor used to belong to a local politician and his aristocratic family and is just a perfect corner to breathe some fresh air and forget about the world.
This is another of my favourite secret gems in the Spanish coastline. A place I described before like the local version of Outlander Lallibroch. Paradoxically, it is rarely included in the local attractions lists, so please be sure to go for a day walk there if you ever visit.
And these are some of the very best hidden gems the Northern Spanish coastline.
Tell me, what are your personal favourite secret spots in your own country?