Darlene Foster's Blog

Adventures in Asturias

Posted on: January 21, 2016

Our trip to the province of Asturias in the Northern part of Spain was most enjoyable. We discovered this part of Spain is quite different from the Mediterranean coast where we live. As the plane descended we were amazed at the green rolling hills, scattered with red-tiled roofed, farm houses and dotted with cows in the fields. I thought perhaps we had arrived in Switzerland. Asturias is also well known for its dairy produce including excellent cheeses and yoghurt. It is a province of  varied landscapes, from the imposing Cantabrian mountains to the beaches and seascapes of the Bay of Biscay, with verdant meadows, quaint villages and historic cities in between. It was a visual smorgasbord for me.

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Christmas tree in our hotel, made of milk bottles, representing the prominent dairy industry

We stayed in Oviedo, the capital city. Our hotel was an easy 20 minute walk to the down-town and historic centre. We fell in love with the city immediately. It was just before Christmas and the city was well decorated for the season. The friendly people made us feel very welcome and proved to be extremely helpful  when we got lost. I was intrigued by the many bronze sculptures scattered throughout the pedestrian shopping areas.

The Traveler

The Traveller

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Statue of La Regenta by the Cathedral San Salvadore

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The sign on the building says AÑO 1679

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Madonna icon inside a church

We drove to Gijon, a seaside town with a Roman history where we found a great outdoor market and hubby did some Christmas shopping.

Another day we drove through the Picos Europa, a majestic mountain range with limestone structures, jagged peaks and deep gorges. The scenery was breathtaking. We passed medieval bridges, old churches,  raised granaries called “horreos”, and stone houses covered with reed used as shepherds huts called “teitos”. Horses and cows grazed in the meadows and goats scrambled on rocks as we sped past.

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Teito

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Horreo

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We stopped to get a closer look at an old church with a stork´s nest on top of the bell tower, a sign of good luck for the local parishioners.

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I was not surprised when I found a  book store in Oviedo called Cervantes.

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I also discovered that Oviedo is the starting point of the Original Way or Camino Primitivo  which was the first Camino route to Santiago de Compostela, in the 9th century as most of Spain was under Moorish control. You can imagine my delight when I found the clam shells embedded in the streets showing the way, as well as this sign.

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It was fun to see another part of this unique and diverse country and we plan to do more exploring.

 

33 Responses to "Adventures in Asturias"

Looks amazing!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. it was amazing!!

Your pictures are like postcards. Thank you. They’re a pleasure to see. I’ve always wanted to go to Spain; my mouth is watering. 😀 ❤

I´m pleased you liked the pictures. I´m sure you will get to Spain one day. ❤

The funny thing is I’ve been drawn to Spain though I knew nothing about the world, Spain or travel. Only rich people traveled. Hmm.If I believed in reincarnation, I might be a little shook up. 😀 😀

It is funny how we are drawn to certain countries. My family background is German but it was Spain I always wanted to see. I planned to travel from an early age but didn´t actually get to Spain until about ten years ago.

A Robert Louis Stevenson quote popped into my mind as I saw your “postcard” photos: “The world is full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” The traveler sculpture reminds me of my husband, who always travels heavy. And the Christmas tree of milk bottles – a tribute to Our Lady of La Leche?

Love the RLS quote. I usually travel heavy as well but we did this trip with just carry on luggage and I was surprised we managed OK. Our Lady of La Leche is funny! 😀

Love that little Teito. It would be neat to have one in the backyard as a tool shed or just a structure to hang out in.

Thanks for sharing your adventures with pictures and words.

The teito would make a cute writer´s hide-away, wouldn´t it. Glad you enjoyed the post.

Those doors are massive! You did see a variety of landscapes. I love that stork’s nest up top. Now that’s a unique Christmas tree out of milk bottles.

Apparently the doors are so huge because in the old days the entire horse and buggy would come inside the courtyard. I love all the different doors we encounter on our travels. The storks nest was very cool. I may have to post more pictures of it.

Wow! Thanks for naming those granaries, Horreos. When we drove through that region and saw them everywhere, I thought they looked like coffins and wondered if they were keeping grandpa out in the back yard. I figured out, or maybe was told, that they were for grain, but never learned the name.

I was fascinated by them as well. They built them up off the ground to keep out the moisture (It rains a lot there) and the critters. Now you have a name for them!

Darlene I am delighted to find this post. In 2012 we cycled through the Picos de Europa. Definitely the most challenging tour. So beautiful but some big climbs!

I can imagine it would have been quite the ride. My hubby is returning in June to do a ride on his motorcycle through the Picos de Europa with a group. He is looking forward to it now that we have seen it. Did you do any blog posts on your visit?

Your husband’s tour sounds marvelous! The trip was before my blogging days but I did back load my travel journals in as post and all can be found under the category Spain on my home page. Here is a post I did to summarize the trip. http://traveltalesoflife.com/2014/08/01/cycling-in-spain-zigzagging-the-picos-de-europa/

I love Asturias and we have spent several summer holidays there, as the crowds are not so large and the heat not as intense as further south. We love the beaches and the mountains alike and we even got our ‘Selleros’ certificate for having canooed down the river Sella from Cangas de Onis to Arriondas: 15 km, I seem to recall! Make sure you try this sometime.
We only travelled through Oviedo, though, but it looks like another city for us to explore. Thank you for sharing. 👍👍👍

I can see why you loved it there. We drove through Cangas and I do want to explore it more the next time we are there. Our time was limited. ❤

Any excuse to go back. Also try Llanes, a lovely fishing port with wonderful beaches, never too crowded and perfect for a respite from the summer heat in the south. Playa de las Rocas was our favourite and we still have a picture on our bedroom wall of the two of us posing in front of big rock taken by our young son about 13 years ago!

Sorry, that should have been from Arriondas to Ribadesella! Opps. Cangas de Onis is lovely to visit too!!!😊

What a lovely trip with great photos to document your journey. It does kind of remind you or Switzerland. There is so much to see in Spain. I love the icon of Mary and the quaint medieval churches. My husband has viewed some of your posts and said, “You have friends everywhere.” Let’s go visit. Wish I could, but my travel is limited.

I am glad you and your husband are enjoying my posts. There is so much to see here and I´m glad we are doing this while we can. Just celebrated our 39th anniversary.

What a beautiful discovery Darlene – you are having some great adventures!

I really am!! Thanks.

You really make the best of your adventures, Darlene. Thanks for sharing. I am impressed with everything but especially the milk-bottle Christmas tree and the hut houses.
blessings ~ maxi

I thought the milk bottle Christmas tree was something else. Glad you enjoyed the post.

Amazing discovery. Love the places. I have enjoyed the photographs.

It was a great discovery for us too.

Really interesting places and nice photos :)! Thanks for taking me there. Bye. Kamila

Glad you enjoyed the visit! Thanks for stopping by.

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