May 31, 2012
For 91 Days we lived in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. An ancient, noble city surrounded by unbelievable nature, Oviedo provided a wonderful base for three months of hiking, sight-seeing and culture. This was the first location in our 91 day travel project, and we couldn’t have picked a better place to start. Whether you’re planning your own journey to Asturias, or are just interested in seeing what makes it such a special region, our articles and photographs should help you out. Begin reading from the beginning of our journey, or skip to the end. Visit the comprehensive index of everything we wrote about, or just check out a few posts selected at random, below:
We’ve made the effort to convert our blog about Oviedo and Asturias into an e-book. For 91 Days in Oviedo contains all of our articles and a selection of over 150 of our best pictures. With an index sorted by category, links to the original blog posts, and cross-references spread throughout, the e-book is a perfect companion for a trip to Oviedo.
Las Fiestas de San Mateo are the biggest event of the year in Oviedo, taking place over the course of nearly two weeks. Oviedo has celebrated the saint’s feast day for over a millenium, since the days of Alfonso II in the 9th century.
“Pre-Romanesque” is a confusing architectural term. The style didn’t appear until centuries after the Romans, so it’s not exactly pre-Roman at all. Instead, the term refers to buildings which pre-date the Romanesque architecture of medieval times, named so because of its rounded Roman arches.
Until moving to Asturias, I shared the popular notion that bagpipes are from Scotland, and that the instrument’s presence necessarily indicates Scottish influence. That turns out to be completely wrong. Bagpipes have a long history in all Europe, from the Balkans to Scandinavia, and definitely in Northern Spain. There’s nothing uniquely Scottish about bagpipes; they weren’t even invented there.
It didn’t take much time for us to develop an appreciation for cider, the favorite drink of Asturias. In the few weeks, we put down a fair share of bottles and improved at escanciando: the tricky art of pouring cider. So, it was soon time to visit a sidrería and see how the drink is produced.
Asturianu is the indigenous language of Asturias, though there aren’t many people who speak it anymore. And Pixuetu is a dialect of Asturianu spoken only in Cudillero, a tiny village on the Cantabrian coast, distinuished by its use of Nordic words. Its no wonder that parents around the world are in a rush to teach their children Pixueto, since it’s totally going to be the next Chinese.
Time was running out! With just over one week left in Asturias, we looked at the map and realized we hadn’t explored the Principality’s western half at all. Time for a road trip.