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For 91 Days in Oviedo »« Oviedo, as Seen by Quasimodo

¡Adios, Oviedo!

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The decision to squirrel away all our worldly possessions in storage and embark on this travel project was not without risks. Any number of things might have gone wrong, and if we didn’t pick a great city for our initial leg, it could have been a disaster. We had to choose something perfect, and really hit the jackpot with Oviedo.

Bye Bye Oviedo

Of course, it wasn’t just luck. Since our arrival in Spain three years ago, friends had been telling us how beautiful Asturias was, particularly at the end of summer. So we expected to enjoy ourselves here. But neither Juergen nor I anticipated just how much we would love it. Asturias is a special place in the world. Both wild and elegant. Historic. Spain, but also somehow not Spain. There’s a sense of spirit here, not unlike what we found in Ireland. Maybe it’s the rain. Or the nature… mountains, forests, verdant valleys. Cliffs and the crashing ocean. These things inspire superstition and awe. They make you feel small, and yet very much alive.

Oviedo is the shining crystal castle of Asturias. We’ve explored this city from top to bottom, west to east. Oviedo is regal. Polished. It’s clean and safe, and proud to be so. Oviedo is also old, both in terms of its actual age and the seniority of its citizens. Seeing a 90-year-old woman hobble past a thousand-year-old building isn’t an uncommon sight. Life is slower; I suppose when a city has seen over twelve centuries and innumerable wars pass by, there’s no reason to hurry.

The people of Oviedo — the carbayones or ovetenses — are wonderful. Calm, polite, and with a measured Spanish accent which is easy on our slow, foreign ears. We didn’t need long to fall into the rhythm of life here. Sidra and cochopos? Who could possibly dislike that?! Hours spent inside cafés, without the slightest pressure to hurry out. Well-dressed Ovetenses, greeting each other on the street after church; or pausing to chat with goofy foreigners like Juergen and I, just because it’s a nice thing to do.

We’re going to miss Oviedo. But I won’t pretend that we’re not excited to get moving on to our next destination: Savannah, Georgia, one of the USA’s most historic cities, with an eccentric Southern culture that’s quite unlike anything I’m used to from growing up in the Midwest.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our articles and pictures about Oviedo and Asturias — and that you stay with us as we continue to explore the world, three months at a time.

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October 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm
7 comments »
  • October 24, 2010 at 5:09 pmcomoju-Cova

    Como Asturiana, me alegro que vuestra estancia en mi tierra haya sido tan grata y que os vayais con este recuerdo de ella tan bueno

    Muchísima suerte ne vuestro nuevo destino, y seguiremos vuestras andanzas por tierras Americanas

    Buen viaje

  • October 24, 2010 at 5:32 pmCourtney F

    Bravo!!!
    You sound so happy.. It’s a nice thing to read about!

  • October 25, 2010 at 11:47 amPedro Iñaki

    Yes, I’ve read all your entries with delight.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences with us. The photos of Juergen are amazing and they complete the text like the sidra helps to cochopos.
    I live in basque country (around 300Km from Oviedo) and I can’t wait to go to se the places you’ve discovered for me.

    Good luck in Savannah! I’ll be watching you both.

  • October 26, 2010 at 12:39 pmJuergen

    Thank you all for the comments – we are happy to have already loyal readers 😉

    Quote of the day “The photos of Juergen are amazing and they complete the text like the sidra helps to cochopos.”

    I’m already in the US and doing a photo assignment right now in Colorado and Mike and Chucky are flying right now as I write.

    Expect us in Savannah around Nov. 2nd.

  • January 7, 2011 at 1:22 amjane

    your site is a great find. our son, a second year college student, is currently winging his way to oviedo for a 6 month stay at the university. we are even more (if thats possible) excited for him now. thanks for sharing.

  • February 21, 2011 at 4:34 pmStephanie

    I’m so happy I found your blog recently. I’m studying in Oviedo this year from August through January, and postponing graduation a semester to do so, though your blog makes me feel like I may postpone it an additional semester because I will fall in love with Asturias. 🙂
    I absolutely love reading all of your entries. Best travel blog/informative site I’ve found on Oviedo!

  • March 31, 2011 at 7:52 pmJose Balido

    Fantastic blog, guys!

    I’ve been to Oviedo many times, as I have family there, and I also think it’s one of the most beautiful (and undersung) parts of Spain. Thanks for bringing back the memories. The photography is gorgeous, btw! I hope you’ll share more of your writing and photos on Tripatini as well.

    Best of luck, wherever you are right now!

    José

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Adios, Oviedo! The decision to squirrel away all our worldly possessions in storage and embark on this travel project was not without risks. Any number of things might have gone wrong, and if we didn't pick a great city for our initial leg, it could have been a disaster. We had to choose something perfect, and really hit the jackpot with Oviedo.
For 91 Days