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Famous Ovetenses: Princess Letizia of Spain

The future Queen of Spain is a carbayón. The beautiful and glamorous Letizia, Princess of Asturias, was born in Oviedo in 1972 and married Prince Felipe in 2004. And when he ascends to the throne, she will become the first Spanish Queen who was born a commoner.

El saludo de Letizia

That’s right! Letizia’s just peeps like you and me. Before her fairytale engagement and marriage to Felipe, she was a heavyweight journalist, who reported live from places like Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, and became the anchor of Spain’s most watched news program. Her tough journalistic chops won the Prince’s heart. Well that, and that she’s freaking hot. That probably played a part, too.

So, when she accompanied Prince Felipe to Oviedo for the Principe de Asturias Awardsi this year, it was a homecoming. I wonder if her old school chums bowed and addressed her by her full royal title: Her Royal Highness Doña Letizia, Princess of Asturias, Princess of Viana, Princess of Girona, Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer. That’s a mouthful.

“God look, there’s Letizia… remember when we used to call her ‘Stinkyfoot’?”
“Shh! Here she comes!”
“Good evening, m’lady! All hail Her Royal Highness Doña Letizia, Princess of Ast… psst she gone yet?”
“Yes. She must really think she’s really something else.”
“All hail Princess Stinkyfoot!”
“Hee-hee!”

- Meet the Spanish Royal Family


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October 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm Comment (1)

Asturian Bookstore Paraxuga

Figures I’d discover this bookstore days before we leave! Filled with books about Asturias, trinkets, a couple tables for tea and esoteric tomes, Paraxuga is a super-cute little bookshop on Calle Paraíso.

Paraxuga Oviedo Tienda

Way back in August, during our first couple weeks in Oviedo, I thought I had scoured all the bookstores the city had to offer. I was mostly interested in books about Asturias. Novels, history, hiking routes, city guides, stuff like that. All the stores tended to have the same books, so I eventually just bought a couple and called it a day.

But although it’s smaller, Paraxuga has an incredible selection of Asturias-specific books, and is a neat place to spend some time. Man, I was kicking myself for not having discovered this shop earlier. They also have books about mystical things like witchcraft and tarot, if that’s your bag.

Though it’s close to downtown, Calle Paraíso isn’t a street tourists often go down. But if you’re looking for books about the province, make a beeline for Paraxuga.

Location on our Oviedo Map
Official Website

Andenken Oviedo
Buchladen Oviedo
Asturias Souvenirs

- Spain Bargain Site

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October 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm Comment (1)

The Sidra Museum in Nava

Sidra has been a big part of our Asturian experience — from learning the art of the Escanciado, to sitting with friends at one of the many sidrerías on Calle Gascona. There’s something grandly social about cider, and we’ve made sure to drink as much as possible.

So it was a given that we’d eventually find our way the Museum of Cider in Nava — smack in the heart of the Comarca de la Sidra. It may not be the best museum I’ve ever seen, but that didn’t preclude it from being a lot of fun.

We were given apples at the entrance desk, which we placed in a crazy Mousetrap like contraption, to see how they’re diced, pressed, fermented and bottled into delicious, alcoholic sidra.
[Coolness Factor: 7 out of 10]

From there, we were introduced to the various machines used throughout the ages for cider production. A bunch of old, wooden devices that look just about how you’d think they’d look.
[Coolness Factor: 4 out of 10]

With high-hopes we entered a room with loud music and flashing lights, and encountered a video about Asturians and their love of cider. A video which was apparently recorded in 1985, if the hairstyles and background music were anything to go by.
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Old woman buying cider at the grocery!
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Mullet dude drinking cider at the bar!
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Business lady with the cider in her fridge!
[Coolness Factor: 1 out of 10]
[Hilarity Factor: 9 out of 10]

Laughing muscles fully exercised, we now came upon the interactive portion of the museum. A magical bagpipe: “Press here” for flute function! Traditional Asturian games, like “Throw Ball at Screen”, and “Throw Ring at Board”. We spent quite a bit of time here, because we had paid €5 apiece to get into the museum, and damned if we weren’t going to get our money’s worth.
[Coolness Factor: 8 out of 10]

At the end of our tour through the Cider Museum, we were rewarded with a sampling of the drink, and a chance to try and pour it ourselves. I think the girl working there was surprised by my Escanciando Skillz. As I was pouring cider flawlessly into my glass, I gave her a little wink and she fainted dead on the spot.
[Personal Coolness Factor: 10 out of 10]

Honestly, if you want an overview of cider production, you’re better off going to the Gaitero Sidrería in nearby Villaviciosa. But I won’t deny we had a good time in Nava; it’s nice to occasionally visit a museum which is more “fun” than “educative”.

Location of Nava on our Day Trips Map

Sidre Museo
Sidra Bike
Escanciandor
Escanciando
EEUU Aleman Gaiteros
Drunk on Sidra

- Asturias Touristic Map

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October 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm Comments (0)

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