In 1884, Leopold Alas, better known by his pen name of Clarín, wrote a massive novel which would eventually be regarded as one of the 19th century's best. La Regenta is a fictional account of the life and loves of Ana Ozores, a noblewoman who marries a man far older than herself, but allows herself to be pursued by two other suitors: the town's resident heartthrob and a priest. Scandal!
The first time we sat down at Tierra Astur, a sidrería at the very top of the "Boulevard of Cider", it was just for drinks. But it was dinnertime and we watched with growing despondency as plate after plate of mouthwatering Asturian food was delivered to other tables. By the time we left, my stomach was growling like an angry Rottweiler. "Calm yourself, friend", I whispered soothingly, "Soon we shall return and a succulent feast shall be your reward!"
The Picos de Europa are a huge mountain range that straddles the border between Asturias, Cantabria and León, just twenty kilometers from the ocean, and a paradise for mountain climbers, nature lovers and hikers.
At the end of the 19th century, Spain was mired in one of its darkest periods. Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines were gone as a result of the Spanish-American War, and an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Morocco had left the country in a tailspin. Many escaped to the New World, where society was on the rise rather than in decline. This included a massive number of Asturians: mostly single, young and ambitious. They lent their enthusiasm to the growing countries of the Western Hemisphere, and made a fortune doing so.
The coast around Llanes is well-known as one of the most stunning areas in Spain, and during a recent trip there, we sought out one of the features which makes it special: Gulpiyuri beach.
During our three months in Asturias, we've seen a lot of wonderful towns. Just check out our Day Trips Map! But none of them have impressed us as much as Llanes, an absolutely gorgeous city in the east of the Principality. A perfect melding of tradition and modernity, Llanes is full of beautifully restored buildings, and boasts an expansive ancient center separated from the day-to-day village life by medieval walls.
Oviedo's most famous and luxurious hotel was built over 250 years ago as an orphanage and hospital for the city. But the altruism has long since faded, and the huge building has gone from caring for the city's most poor and downtrodden, to catering to the rich and famous.
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.
Like any great city, Oviedo is full of gorgeous detail, unexpected sights and humorous juxtapositions. The hardest part of a photographer's job here is deciding between the incredible picture opportunities!
This is the inscription engraved upon the Foncalada: a fountain near the city center, and the only remaining civil service structure in Asturias still standing from the Middle Ages. It was constructed in the 9th Century at the behest of King Alfonso III, and features the Victory Cross above the inscription.
On a rainy Saturday night, I went to a bar which a couple friends had recommended. Al Fondo Hay Sitio... There's Room at the Back. It was a fun evening out. The bar had a great atmosphere with live rock music, a good selection of beers and an abundance of tapas, which the waiter insisted I try. "Picante, ¡SÍ!" Bowls of fruit were on the tables, and a guest book was at the door; funny little touches that give the bar a unique feel.
It's a butt! A huge, shiny butt, right next to the Teatro Campoamor. And what's more: it's a double butt.