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La Llave: Traditional Asturian Game

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The Llave (“The Key”) is a curious traditional Asturian tossing game, played in and around the Oviedo-Gijón area. This is the only Youtube video I could find of it.

Each player gets to throw six stones at the “Key” at a distance of 14 meters, scoring points for successful strikes. I would be terrible at this game, so please don’t challenge me to a match!

October 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm Comments (0)

Real Oviedo in the Carlos Tertiere Stadium

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Finally, football season had started up again. The euphoric World Cup in South Africa had ended almost two months ago. Two full months without meaningful matches! That’s sick, is what it is!

Carlos Tertiere

On the first matchday of the season, I went to the Estadio Nuevo Carlos Tertiere to watch Real Oviedo face off against UD Logroñés, out of La Rioja. Oviedo plays in the Segunda División B, which is the third level in the Spanish system. Founded in 1926, Oviedo had played for years in the top flight, even claiming third place a few times. But since 2001, the team has been relegated three times, from the Primera to the Segunda, to the Segunda B, and even to the abysmal Tercera where they were stuck for six years.

A city as large as Oviedo deserves better, and their team has recently fought their way into the Segunda B. With such a rich history and a huge fan base to satisfy, Real Oviedo is desperate to ascend even further. But they’d need more than the lackluster 1-1 draw I witnessed.

The Carlos Tertiere stadium is huge. With a capacity of 30,000, it’s truly befitting of a first division team. Although over 6000 people showed up last night, respectable for the Segunda B, the stands looked empty. The price for a ticket was €25, which seems expensive but allows you to sit anywhere you like. I chose a spot right on top of the action, and had fun watching the madmen in the supporters corner, enthusiastic enough to match most of their counterparts in the top flight.

It’ll happen one day, guys! And until then, Asturian aficionados looking for quality football always have Gijón.

Location of the stadium on our Oviedo Map

Arriving at Stadium
Celebrating First Goal
Depressed Fan

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August 30, 2010 at 11:18 pm Comments (2)

El Descenso del Sella

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Book a hotel for this event (in Ribadesella)

Entering 80 years of history, the International Descenso del Sella has become one of the most important events on the Asturian calendar. Over 300,000 people showed up to watch this year’s canoe and kayak race and participate in a week full of parties.

Of course, we had to go, especially since the train ride cost just €10. We stayed on the train through Arriondas, where the race starts, and followed the river twenty kilometers to its end in seaside Ribadesella. All along the route, we looked out the window at campsites and drunk, sunburnt party people. At the Arriondas stop, a group of hilariously hung-over teenagers boarded and all instantly, simultaneously fell asleep. Watching the increasingly frustrated ticket-checker try futiley to rouse them was great fun.

We managed to claim great spots along the riverbed to watch end of the race. The athletes, mostly muscle-bound Spaniards, rowed swiftly past the finish line and it was all over far too quickly. But the race is really just an excuse for the week-long party that grips the region. Music, festival rides, food stands and above all, alcohol. Cider, beer, vomit, whiskey, dancing, vodka, public urination, followed by more vodka and vomit. The Descenso del Sella simply must be the coolest canoe race in the world.

Location on our Asturias Map

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August 9, 2010 at 11:59 am Comments (2)
La Llave: Traditional Asturian Game The Llave ("The Key") is a curious traditional Asturian tossing game, played in and around the Oviedo-Gijn area. This is the only Youtube video I could find of it.
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