A spectacular Spanish sunset. Valdehuesa, León

The photo I posted on Sunday prompted a flurry of cloud-related comments. The hypothesis was proposed, seconded and swiftly carried that Spanish skies are far more interesting than their English counterparts.

A quick glance out my window does nothing to dispel this notion. Right now, the sun is setting off to the west and the sky is stained a cinematic blood-red. In the early mornings we are often privy to a cloud inversion. To be above the clouds whilst still earth-bound is a heady sensation.

Even on more muted days, when atmospheric conditions conform to the norm, it seems the sky here cannot fully suppress its epic tendencies. Cloud formations sweep in from the sea and crash against the foothills of the mountains where they experiment with form and texture in the manner of a particularly daring avant-garde artist.

I love walking under large skies. I love watching ever-changing horizons. I love being caught up in the storm of imagination that crashing clouds can provoke. I love living where I do.

Having said all that, I don’t know for sure whether Spanish skies really are more epic than English ones. Maybe it’s just that our experience of the English sky is often limited to that drab sub-section that hangs over cities or our commute thereto. Maybe it’s just that we’re often too busy in our adult lives to even notice the sky above us. It can take a holiday, a new country, a change in the day-to-day to drop the blinkers from our eyes and yank our heads heavenwards.

Perhaps the best sky of all is always going to be the one you laid under as a child on a summer’s day. The one you gazed up at as you dreamily pictured your future spread before you as the cloths of heaven. Perhaps gazing up at the sky today, wherever we may be, is one way to drift deliciously back into that younger self, those former dreams.

What about you – what’s your patch of sky like? Do you get enough chance to gaze up at it and daydream? When did you last sit and watch the sun set?


  1. Stunning photograph! I think skies close to mountains are always more interesting…

  2. Wow! A fantastic picture with wonderful colour. I’ve managed to spend a few afternoons watching the sun and clouds go by sunbathing over the summer. x

  3. Wow….its completely smouldering isn’t it?

  4. I love how the dust is picked up in the fading light. What a great shot from one very lucky lady! xx

  5. Lovely…and enjoyed the idea of “epic tendencies”.

  6. Trish @ Mum's Gone To says:

    We live in South Lincolnshire which is so flat we can get some amazing big skies but nothing as spectacular as your photo: maybe we need mountains to create the effect?
    When I lived in cities I didn’t notice any interesting clouds because, as you say, there is often just a grey dull mass above the buildings.

    • I do think the mountains can add a certain dramatic effect to the cloud formations and skies but really any big skies are pretty fab. It’s the city ones that I find lacking, like you say!

  7. Just beautiful. X

  8. Who would not worship under such a sky?

  9. A wonderful sky and I am green with envy as I live in Jakarta where the sky is pretty much blotted out by pollution every day, but I did head down to south Java for a few days last week and sat on a very quiet beach and watched the sun go down every night. It’s a magical thing and I don’t think I will ever tire of sunsets.

    • Oh poor you – living under such a polluted sky sounds pretty tough, although I’m sure there must be other compensations to living in Jakarta. Java sounds pretty heavenly, for one thing! (Sorry I’ve taken so long to reply, I’ve been offline for a while)

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  11. Gorgeous photo! I love to watch the sun set. Especially when the colors are amazing! Even better when it happens in your own back yard!

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