jueves, 14 de febrero de 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland (Part I)

I could actually divide this post about Oviedo in different categories:
- According to the different kinds of sun light I witness in only 3 hours (at the begin it was almost raining, then it was raining, then the thick clouds went away and only the white and fluffy clouds stayed, afterwards the sun started playing peekaboo with me, then it was actually shinning up in the sky and surprisingly warm, and when I got back to my hotel room the sky was getting dark grey and I could barely see the snowed mountains that “frame” the city);
- According to the different types of architecture of the city because Oviedo has it all (there are glass balconies like in A Coruña, some more medieval made from wood like in Burgos, there are also art deco buildings, even a megalomaniac building from Calatrava, and there was a group of colorful “lego buildings” just in front of my hotel that really inspired me);
- Or even according to the different statues (they were so many and so different)…

But finally I decided to organize the pictures by order. From the begin until the end of my long work/fun day in Oviedo. Because the city has it all, I figured that if I just drop them by order you would actually have the sense of how it truly is, a pot-pourri from everything. I also decided to comment only some of them because I believe the rest are pretty self-explanatory and this way the post is not so heavy. Enjoy the ride in this wintry (and very complete) wonderland!  

 Statue number 1

 Statue number 2

Statue number 3 (from Botero). And counting…

According to the locals Asturias, the province where Oviedo is, has the most beautiful sights from the Santiago Path. And that is something that I’ll confirm you in a couple of months, since on March 24th  I´ll leave Madrid towards Asturias, this time around to walk the last 200 kms from the Path. I’m so so excited. They will be 9 days walking an average of 20 kms per day, but I don’t care. I really need this spiritual journey and to “live” more the deep Spain.

A statue that is also a homage to the travelers!

Apart from this megalomaniac building from Calatrava in the very center of the city, not far from Oviedo there’s an entire city projected by Oscar Niemeyer. What the authorities tried to do with these both was to replicate the model and the success that the construction of the Guggenheim in Bilbao represented to that city (exactly as in Valencia the authorities tried to do the same, using the Ciudad de las Artes as a “bait”,  and in Zaragoza they tried to do it with the Expo 2008 and the buildings from Zaha Adid among others renown architects). Nevertheless, in all those cities (Oviedo included) they failed! The projects were super expensive to the local authorities and to the Spanish government and they all have a much inferior occupation rate than the expected. A pity, actually! But, even if they’re not as used as it was expected, the buildings are there to be appreciated… and photographed! 

The already mentioned “lego buildings”!

Room with a view…

At the end of the day my hosts took me to dinner in a very typical restaurant. They had a lot of local products and they were all very delicious. Apparently, Asturias is the Spanish region with more restaurants and hotels with the quality certification stamp. Almost 1.500 establishments have this stamp!!! I’m sure the restaurant where we went was one of them because the food was great and the place very typical. 

So typical that in the floor they had sawdust, just like in the old times. Do you know why they have it?! Because in the old times, everyone used to drink the Sidra from the same glass. And in order to the diseases not to pass on, people used to leave a little bit of Sidra in the glass and through it to the floor making the alcohol pass by the side of the glass from which the former person drank, this way the “bugs” would be killed. If the floor didn’t have this sawdust and people constantly threw the drink there, it would be always wet and people might fall… and in that case the remedy would be worse than the disease, literally!

The snow on my way back…

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