Spain Photos Asturias and the Picos Gijon, the capital of Asturias, curves around a beach, with its Romanesque church at the foot of an historic peninsula. On the other side of the peninsula lies an industrial seaport.A reconstructed pre-Roman hut sits on a bluff where the first settlement of Gijon was built in the 6th century BC. Stone walls and moats once protected the encampment from invaders, but now are encroached by industry.The coastline of Gijon looks like it could have broken off from Ireland (due north), and seafaring Celts did in fact land here en route to points south. Grassy fields high among the jagged peaks in Asturias and Cantabria offer plenty for local sheep, cows, and horses to feast on.In Covadonga, the “reconquest” of Spain from the Moors began in 722 A.D., and legend says that Pelayo, the leader of the rebellion, prayed in this cave. A chapel was built in his honor.Farmers also built structures into the cliff walls, like this shepherd’s shelter high in the mountains.The Picos de Europa National Park features massive ridges of stony peaks like these, some of which are famous destinations for rock climbers. We preferred to look up at them.La Ruta del Cares canyon path was carved into and through these steep rocky cliffs for 11 km in order to connect a mining town to the outside world in 1916-21. Now it’s one of the most popular hikes in Spain.Los Lagos — the lakes — is the most popular and perhaps the most scenic area of the Picos de Europa park.