Ancient Ancestors Tour ~ Hotel Palacio de Trasvilla, Puente Viesgo ~ Cantabria!
DNA for genealogy or anthropology is not just about finding the ancestors, their information and rellies – it is about going to visit people and places from the cemetery down the street to the archives in any country in the world or the Ice-Age art of the caves of southern France and northern Spain.
Genealogy and DNA tourism must be the new thing in travel and tours and I have often laid out the hints and helps for genealogy travel for many families and places and so I am excited to give all the bits of what we learned traveling as seniors (one who is missing part of a lung and the other who had to carry the loads, literally for two instead of just one) and toting all the gear and comforts that durable medical equipment and baggage limitations will allow.
I will soon have a blog on nothing but Google – how to Google for research for your family and genetic history and for planning your travel tour. This entire trip was so wonderful and so wonderfully planned with special everything and this is due in large part to Google and how the search engine will give you any information, on any thing, any place, any, any.
Where to find your ancestors? – their stories? their things? their places? Google. Want to tick off your wife?
The boolean search on Google – not from any other browser – Make your browser go to and search on and from Google only. Quotations give you a search that is phrase specific. If you search baylis washington harrison lewis you will get countless hits for each of the words individually and multiple combinations – but if you search
“baylis washington harrison lewis”
in quotations, then you will have refined your search results to create a personalized magic page of specific results
When, as seniors, we wanted to visit the Ice-Age Art of our shared ancestors I Googled info about what caves to visit, where to stay in those towns, how to access, get tickets, travel, what needs could be met for seniors, where would we eat and where and how often could we visit loos, toilettes, serviceos and what things will we need and where can they be gotten or not.
And In Spain…
Where did we go? I googled it. Once I knew the names of the towns with ancestors – whichever whoever ancestors – in this case the ancestors or cousins of anyone who ever carried a gene pool through or near or visited SW Europe – which is most of humanity surviving – even if just in-laws – then the use of Google to see the place on a map and then ask for nearby – things to do – places to eat – places to stay and available transportation.
Many towns have loads of user-uploaded and shared photos of the places and facilities – so again Google and Googleology for Genealogy
Altogether now – in unison: boolean searching
“puente viesgo” spain “cave art”
El Castillo and Las Monedas are two caves to visit at the same site. They are both at Puente Viesgo, Spain. The largest and best accommodation – as far as I might see and say, in the town is the Grand Hotel and Spa. Since we wanted spas as much as cave art they were the winner – but they did not answer for over a week and by that time I had gone back to Google Maps to locate other accommodation and I was not disappointed. But we did enjoy the facilities at the Grand Hotel and had lunches with them two days. Cannot brag enough on their restaurants. The lovely main hotel dining room served me a petite filet that melted in my mouth and their Park restaurant across the street has amazing views, wonderful service and nice casual menu.
You can see the actual caves, you can see more than one and at least in the May, off-season, there was no problem getting tickets to see them. No photos are allowed in the caves so you need to enjoy the links below to the websites of the caves and tourism organizations to see what is inside the caves.
The most dangerous thing about visiting any of the caves is the walking. The Hurry Cane with the triple wide base would be the ideal for keeping steady on slick surfaces. In almost all the caves there was water and in some more than others. You must let them know you would like a bit of extra help in walking on the slick surfaces. You want sturdy hiking like shoes and over the ankles would of course be the best, but at least good sport shoes with good gripping tread.
Palacio de Trasvilla
At almost the same time in Germany, another lady was searching for places to stay near Puente Viesgo and she also used Google and Google Maps and Google Map Nearby Places and we both had independently found, and had three overlapping nights of our stays at the adults-only, six-room boutique hotel Palacio de Trasvilla. Put it on your bucket list. The couple from Germany were such a delight to chat with and all learning from each other places to go, things to do and people to see.
We had many exquisite and magnificent places but ‘the Palacio’ hotel takes the number one winner for the trip out of a total of, from door to door, seven hotels, and three long layovers using airport clubs, (for northern Spain) with varying facilities and services, and with extreme variations in price. A couple of the airport hotels were the most tedious, and all of them were the most expensive and all somewhat arrogant about their shortcomings. So the question is in all my reviews of places to stay is, can it take care of seniors in the way good accommodation should?
Photos of different rooms and different common rooms and terraces at the Palacio de Trasvilla. They are an adults only, meaning no children can break antiques, 6-room boutique hotel.
Using Google Maps, I asked for a map of Puente Viesgo, Spain and from there I also asked for the Caves location and how far the caves are from the town center. Also using google maps I could see the street view and knew that the road was long and uphill all the way. The visit to the caves from the town needs transport. This is the kind of info you can pre-gather for your trip and make sure you have all your needs met in place to place to palacio. The location of the grocery in town. The Palacio has a set breakfast but most then would be eating in town for both lunches and dinners (all restaurants seemed to be closed between 3:30 and 8 pm) – but the Palacio says it can try to accommodate needs there. The main room with terrace we booked is the Marquess.
One must eat in the morning so any hotel, for me, must have breakfast included and throughout the trip all of the hotels had breakfast and the first meal story will be its own blog and too wonderful to miss – the breakfasts varied so differently and we even have a couple of photos – I think from the iPhone for some of the meal plates.
If you have a facebook account you will be able to see this short video of one of the rooms we booked – I doubt that the management knew that I am blogging about our trip but of course he will after he reads it. Alfredo Italia and all the Palacio family were just wonderful. Immaculate and what a wonderful concept to take a 16th century home and turn it into a fairy land of magical history transformation into the past – and a couple of their six rooms have Jacuzzi!
From the Palacio you can do and see so many things right at hand!
El Castillo Cave plus… Multiple caves to visit in one location with easy access for several of them, must be a winner.
Horarios y Tarifas
If you search for this from a google page you will get the google translate – offer – watch for the pop up question – do you want it translated and click yes – do this first in opening this or any webpage so you get the translation to your language of choice.
To top it all off there were many other amazing things to see and do in the area. The CABÁRCENO NATURAL PARK with its cable cars to view the Zoo from the air was wonderful and easy to enjoy with little walking using the cable cars.
This kind of travel is best with a car so if you are using public transport, as many do you will need to re-think distances for your stay and your visits.
In Puente Viesgo,
there was the Grand Hotel and from there you can take the hiking trail up to the Caves. Most hotels and hostels in the town looked lovely with a variety of accommodation and views. Use your Google maps and nearby places and things. The town offered many options.
Nearby: Altamira is closed but they have a beautiful museum with a fabulous replica of the cave
The replica is much better for those with walking issues and do not miss it – you really believe you are in a cave and the added museum was special! I love this gift shop some different items not seen at others with fossils and the restaurant was great. If the Lentil soup is on the day you are there – it was delicious! 🙂
Previous On Cherie Lynn’s Herstory Ice-Age Tour:
Cherie In French… The Winners In Aquitaine – Beauty Along The Beune
Spas Around The World… Their Own Pangaea Of Pampering
All Cave Review… Many sites hope for DNA sequencing of ‘their people’.
The DNA Of Twins… Beds – that is. Mistakes that can ruin a trip.
Using the archived site of Jean Manco you can see DNA haplogroups in many places and in many eras – and follow your and all human ancestors through time.
A great place to look for books new and used is on abebooks.com of Canada and of course Amazon.
And her many other books also from her publisher Thames and Hudson
The must read for Ice-Age Ancestors Art – Genevieve von Petzinger
TRAVEL Hints and Helps
Visiting Europe from the States or v/v you will need power adapters and converters – and incontinence pads; you will want docking stations to some degree and you will need Sim cards – the roaming charges, if any phone works at all will be a large fortune and so help yourself before you go or plan a day or two to buy supplies. For aging and ill health – you want many protections and airplane ear is another common issue – common enough that as you look at the kiosk rack in the airport – you easily see the common problems reflected in the kiosk’s inventory.
The airport kiosk is universal and the mini selection of the must have remedies let’s me know just how common these problems are – so pack up the goodies in your ole kit bag and check it!
The REDCAMP duffel won hands down for most useful “extra” bag of the trip. Getting hard cases for the breakable souvenirs was easy thinking outside the box. We had shipped Philippine Carabao horns from Palm Beach, and I had hoped for but did not ship this trip 18th century wood carving. The old standby Samsonite (purple in the middle left) was still a great sturdy bag – A+. But the Lipault, (not shown) has a broken back of its metal pieces – was never over weight and so just was not worth the expensive price for one vacation. The It bag might still be of use – but it lost two zipper pulls – one from the large front pocket and the maybe inch thick worth of paper magazines, and what-not paper, was all lost out – the pocket’s zipper open and the tab gone. The suitcase was zipped but one of the two main bag zipper tabs is gone. This bag also very expensive and although you can open and close the zipper – it is another expensive disappointment.
The wonderful Google translation app. We can talk to each other. But before just starting with Google he was floundering around with those – even suspicious – APPs of translators – that work two minutes and then tell you how much money they want for the app to work again. He says that was all my fault – but they are his phones and I told him to ask google anyway. I think the errant APP is still on his phone and likely reading every iota of our data.
And Yes we got hacked in some way. There was an attempt on one of our accounts – with number, a day after we returned – but the company stopped it – thank goodness.
It is important to tell your card companies what to expect and where – they are there to take care of you and your account but they cannot if you don’t let them know.
Travelon ADAPTER –
(In the end we did not use any of the electrical items that required converson – only adapters – We bought and took items that had universal use only.) All the following items used only the adapter and so cut down on weight and bulk.
The C-pap machine was easiest to sort but the most expensive for power conversion. With so many people now traveling with some sort of device then investing in a good adapter and converter was the most economical and those are needed for a multitude of modern travel items. The concern was a mistake in plugging and frying the C-pap, so he got the travel C-pap that will take any current in the world with only the adapter needed.
The Braun Series 9 shaver is the winner and when I messaged them about its needs, learned the shaver he already had, had come with a “smart cord” and as long as we had the adapter then he was good to go and shave with power.
The iPhones and tablets were also universal for power but could use the USB ports and the best winner for power was the all in one Travelon ADAPTER only – we could have used two of these but the one has a center socket that will take several different types of male plugs – but ONLY one at a time. On the side are two USB ports. This item is NOT – NOT a converter – so you can only plug things into it that can take any current and just need a good multi-use adapter.
Is the house alright? RING is like… you just cannot imagine…
Just click on the APP and SEE the house – live, from how ever many cameras you have and you can hear and speak. You can review motion registered, which is your own index of camera-recorded audio and video in a list with the time of day. With participation you can review the items any neighbors might share and with a plan the video is saved for a lengthy period of time. Nothing like it. We have the standard monitored alarm company and every door and window of the house and out buildings have monitored alarms for opening and or breaking, we also have smoke and all the traditional detectors. And adding RING has been wonderful. Hearing and seeing from a third the way around the world was amazing.
With RING we could click the links from anywhere in the world, anytime of the day or night and see the house. We have always had the traditional monitored house alarm and we of course are keeping that all in place for every door and window – opening, breaking, smoking, or fresh air, but the prices for the old-fashioned companies were old-fashioned. Ring – I think another one is called Nest – and there are others I think and you can order and install them yourself and they had great options if you needed help for hard wired devices.