We had talked about visiting Asturias in Northern Spain for quite sometime but had never really had a chance. You see Bert used to travel to Asturias for work and had always promised to take me, but for one reason or another, I was never able to accompany him on those trips.  Fast forward to August 2018, a couple years since his retirement and we finally begin planning this long awaited trip.

Thanks to a very dear friend and colleague of Bert’s, we were able to see so much of this area known as “Green Spain”.  Laudelina, a native of Asturias showed us around the many fishing villages that dot the rugged coastline of Asturias.  A google search produced this map which will give you some idea where we were.  As you can see, it’s right on the coast, the blue you see above is the Bay of Biscay.

We took a flight to Madrid and could have connected with a local carrier on arrival, but instead we decided to take a 5 hour train journey to our destination Gijon, just so that we could relax and take in the beauty along the way. On arrival in Gijon, we were pretty pleased with the location of our Airbnb. It was walking distance to the beach, the rugged coastline, the harbor, the beautiful boutiques, the charming outdoor cafes and just about everything one needed for a week’s stay.

 

Gijon is the largest coastal city in Northern Spain. Loved the narrow alleys, the red tiled rooftops, the cobbled stones, the cafes that spill out onto the streets and the general vibe and feeling of “there’s no tomorrow, let’s enjoy the moment”.  I find a lot of the European countries are pretty much that way.

 

The historic city of Gijon is a superb destination for those who want to combine culture, beach and nature. With its combination of beaches, mountains, stunning landscapes and an active night life, this vacation should cover it all.  After venturing to other places of interest during the daytime, it was always great to come back to our Airbnb and take in the night life which literally goes on till the wee hours (probably 4-5am).  No, we did not make it to the wee hours 🙂

 

Assumption Day is a public holiday in Spain and a major religious festival across the country.  We were fortunate to see how they celebrate this special holiday.  The night before hundreds gathered on the seafront promenade to watch the fireworks at midnight. Spaniards are a passionate and animated race, they are also warm and hospitable. Families celebrate with their kids, it’s not unusual to see generations of families out together till the wee hours. Enjoy these two videos taken on Assumption Day.

 

 

The following day our friend Laudelina, was up and ready to show us her corner of the world, and she showed it with pride.  We were grateful that she spoke English, as this part of Spain isn’t as touristy as other parts, so hardly any English is spoken.

 

Pravia – isn’t it wonderful when you just stumble on a place you weren’t really planning to visit?  I’m so glad we did, it was quite a hike to get to the top, but we made it and the views were simply stunning!

 

Ortiguera (above) in the municipality of Coana – just enjoy these images.  I’m at a loss to remember some of the places we visited.  But as you will see, every village was so unique and special from the other.

 

Cuidellero above, is a delightful fishing port in Asturias.  Its colorful houses climb uphill above the sea and the cobbled plaza. They stretch out in a semi-circle around the bay. There are plenty of bars, cafes and seafood restaurants.  The port of Cuidellero is filled with fishing boats especially on an evening when the boats come back with the day’s catch.  Enjoy the short video clip of the hustle and bustle around.

 

 

Basilica de Santa Maria la Real de Covadonga above is a stunning pink limestone basilica nestled on top of a steep climb with a beautiful backdrop of mountains and mature trees.  We learned that the basilica was completed in 1901 to commemorate the Reconquista of Spain that began in this area of Asturias.

 

Picos de Europa (above) The Picos de Europa National Park was the first to be awarded that designation in Spain.  We took a bus up to a certain point where we could then hike on our own.  The views were tremendous, steep climbs to alpine meadows where you heard cowbells and encountered many cows and mountain goats.  Jagged peaks and gorges and waterfalls, let the pictures speak for themselves, this is definitely Spain’s best kept secret.

 

How could I not include pictures of the food we enjoyed?  Being on the coast, Asturias boasts an abundance of fresh seafood.  You’ll see cider being poured from way up high in one of the pictures – cider is pretty popular in Asturias, there’s a method of pouring and drinking it.  Unfortunately we were not able to try the regional dish which is Fabada Asturiana, a rich stew made of Asturian large white beans, pork shoulder, chorizo, saffron etc.  It was hard to find in the summer time as we had visited in August.

 

A collage of pictures from different areas we had visited.  A feast for all the senses in every way, wouldn’t you agree?  There were many more places and pictures, but these were just a few on our visit to Spain’s northern coast. It’s been about a month now since we’ve returned from Asturias, but these images will be plastered in my memory for years to come.  To say I was overwhelmed with all the different types of scenery would be an understatement, there aren’t any words to describe what I felt.  Adios Amigos.

 

 

 

26 Replies to “Another slice of Spain”

  1. Loretta,
    This post was well worth the wait! I have been looking forward to reading about your trip and seeing these simply amazing pictures. the panoramic photo on the top sets the perfect tempo for your post too.
    Thank you so much for sharing the trip with us. the scenery, experiences and of course , the food are all awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sandhya, I guess the panoramic picture did the trick, it was meant to draw viewers into the post 🙂 I don’t think my photos did the place any justice. I can only imagine what ‘real’ photographers would do with such stunning scenes. I now begin to question if my husband did really go there for work, which was quite often (or did he just unwind and play) 🙂 Easily done in such a beautiful setting with an amazing culture.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha so true about husbands getting to go away “on business” !
        Your photos are as good as any professional photographers Loretta! I truly mean it.

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  2. I love what you’ve done to your blog! Very nice. We were in Spain for the first time this August (Madrid). I found it just beautiful. Your trip to Auturias looks exactly like what we look for when traveling. I find it amazing how well kept everything is considering it’s age. If something is 200 years old here it’s dilapidated. There it’ thousands of years old. What beautiful pictures Loretta. I loved reading about your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Julie. I was getting bored with my own posts 🙂 I always wanted one that would showcase my photos in a better way, so this one definitely did and I’m back on board again and enjoying the new set up. 🙂 I recall you telling me that you and John were planning a trip to Madrid. Wasn’t it just fabulous? You’re absolutely right about the history around…..I mean isn’t it amazing when you read that places have been around for 500 or 600 years and everything is so beautifully preserved? Birthday greetings coming your way again. I hope you and the family and the wee one celebrate and enjoy tonight! 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Ronit. Madrid is awesome isn’t it? We were fortunate to have had our daughter live in Spain for 2 years, so each time we visited we selected a new spot. Asturias was where my husband went pretty often for work, I’m sure glad we got to visit after he retired. It’s a place I’d love to go again and again, it’s so very different from the rest of Spain.

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  3. Thanks for sharing such beautiful scenic pictures. Then you have to include the local food too of course! I traveled a lot with Gene on business trips and was able to see so much but never made it to Spain. That’s why I appreciate your pictures as I probably will never get to see this beautiful country!

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    1. Thanks so much Judi. I’m glad I was able to give you a glimpse of this beautiful part of Spain. I think it’s pretty different from the rest of Spain though. Yes, the food was awesome. I had told myself I would just stick with a seafood and vegetarian diet when I got there as I had heard, being by the coast, you got the freshest fish, they were right!

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  4. What a fabulous post! Your pictures are wonderful. I’m still listening to the song sung by the people holding hands. Why don’t people sing in this country?!!! I’ve witnessed singing even in pubs. Of course, people usually have been drinking come to think of it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Mimi. Weren’t those videos just lovely? I had tears in my eyes when I was listening to them and tried to understand what it is they were singing. A very patriotic race indeed! What I couldn’t get over though was that the fireworks the night before were at midnight. I couldn’t help but wonder why they had it at such a late time……but you know what? All the kids were out and enjoying with their parents and grandparents. It was an amazing atmosphere, right by the beach and the beautiful church.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So lovely of you to stop by and visit. Thanks so much, I loved putting that post together as it brought back such sweet memories of our trip there last month. Yes, the food was spectacular! Being on the coast, I enjoyed an array of seafood favorites.

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  5. My first journey to your pages all the way from Australia . . . thank you for such a wonderful introduction to a part of Spain I have not as yet visited . . . it will go into my ‘precious’ file and I hope to be able to take it out soon . . . beautiful photography, mmh, especially of the food!!

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    1. G’day in Australia! So lovely of you to stop by and pay me a visit 🙂 It’s a very unique part of Spain, so different from all the other parts. Already planning a visit for another time to hit the areas that we missed. I tried to access your blog but was not able to? How do I get to it?

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      1. Oh, (hanging head in shame!), I am the blogworld’s cuckoo in the nest – do not have my own blog 🙂 ! Am actually a so-called ‘foodie’ travelling the ‘circuit’ . . . .fulltime work and studies and living semi-rurally do not afford the time to accomplish something worthwhile in that area myself, tho’ friends are always trying and suggesting and . . . 🙂 !

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  6. Well done post. Just this morning I was researching places to go for our winter holiday and your post has got me thinking that we should hop down to Gijon. What a lovely area. I’ll be rereading this one. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello there Ron and thanks so much for stopping by and reading my latest post. Yes indeed this part of Spain is so unlike the rest, we absolutely loved it. Gijon should not be too far from you, you’d need a flight to Oviedo, the closest airport. Let me know if you are planning, I’d be happy to help. Our Airbnb was just wonderful too, I can pass on that information along if you decide to go.

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  7. We were there in October which was also a good time to visit; the rain held off most of the time, places to stay were plentiful enough to book in when we actually arrived in the town and down in Rioja it was grape-picking season – I got drunk on the delicious fumes that permeated the air of all the small villages on our route.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can well imagine getting drunk on the fumes in Rioja. 🙂 You were lucky to have captured the grape-picking season, I’ll bet it was a sight to see. Yes, I can’t wait to go back and explore some more. Those quaint fishing villages were a sight for sore eyes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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