As much as I love Oviedo, it isn’t the only beautiful city in Spain. Asturias is full of gorgeous cities and towns, and I got to visit two of them this weekend. As you may remember from my last post, my Saturday was rather sub-par. However, my Friday and my Sunday were amazing. On Friday, two friends and I traveled to Avilés in the afternoon to see what there was to see, and on Sunday our entire group from Rollins went to visit Gijon with our program coordinator. Both of these gems are less than half an hour ( and €5) from Oviedo by bus.
NOTE: Apparently, WordPress only lets you upload 3GB of photos until they make you pay for it, and I’ve already used 25% of that. I want to keep sharing as many pictures as possible with you all, so I’ll be making albums on my flickr, and linking to those within my blogs. It’s annoying, but at least this way I can keep sharing photos!
Aviles looks a lot like Oviedo, only slightly smaller. When Camille and Catey and I first arrived at the bus station, we started walking the wrong way into the outskirts of town and were disappointed. But then we turned back around and found the beautiful city center, and took a TON of pictures. (<- click hyperlink to get to my flickr) We saw the beautiful “Iglesia Vieja de Sabugo,” but it was closed so we couldn’t go inside. However, we did get to go in the absolutely breathtaking Iglesia de Santo Tomás de Cantorbery. It is one of the most amazing buildings I have ever seen. The pictures of the interior really do not do it justice.
All the stores were closed because it was a holiday, so I want to go back to Aviles when it’s busier! It is a gorgeous little city.
On Sunday, our program coordinator, Ana, took us to her home city of Gijon. It’s actually bigger than Oviedo is, and it is a coastal city. I love the mountains of Oviedo, but it felt good to be by the ocean again! We debated on which city is prettier, Oviedo or Gijon, and although Gijon is beautiful, I think Oviedo wins out for me. Gijon doesn’t have an ancient part of the city like Oviedo does. That being said, Gijon is definitely nothing to sneeze at. Anyway, when we arrived, I was so sad to see that I had forgotten my SIM card for my camera, so I took all of these pictures with my iPhone. They came out better than I expected, but I had to worry about battery life and storage, which I never do with my camera.
Side note: I am obsessed with the color palette of Spain. In Oviedo and in Gijon, I love how the buildings are painted, and how it blends with the landscape around it. I want to bottle those colors and put them everywhere in my life. (See the featured image on this post)
We walked up a hill/cliff to get the best view of the water. You’d think I’d be used to coastal views, but this was really gorgeous. It felt like the color saturation was turned up- the water was the bluest blue and the grass was so green. The structure in this picture is a built to make the wind “sing.” If you stand in it, the sea breeze makes a really cool humming sound.
Whenever we go somewhere with Ana, we get meals paid for by Rollins. Since lunch is the biggest meal of the day here, we eat really well when we’re with her! “Menu del día” is very popular here, where you get your choice of first course and second course, plus a desert, bread, coffee, and a drink of a fixed menu for a fixed price. It’s an insane amount of food. The first course is not a small salad or appetizer- it is enough food for a meal all on its own. We ate in a delicious restaurant with an amazing view of the water.
We were also lucky enough to be there during a holiday for a local neighborhood, so there were all sorts of colorful decorations up- including a dragon! We also got to go to a really cool aquarium (acuario in Spanish), where we got to see all sorts of cool animals, including jellyfish, sharks, sea turtles, and a penguin. It was a great day.
Sorry that this post was a little delayed- I wanted to figure this whole picture thing out before I uploaded. I can’t believe that our second week of class is already over. This semester is really going to fly by, so I’m trying to take advantage of every day. The Festival of San Mateo kicked off last night, and we have another excursion tomorrow, so I will write again soon. Hasta luego 🙂