Meat & Cheese & Bread….Zurich

Map

I’m not going to bore you with the details of the flight except to say that I have decided there should be a “children’s section” on planes.  They used to have smoking sections, why not one for children?  Eight children under 8 within 8 feet should not be allowed on a (small) plane.  On to the good stuff.

I have been to Spain before.  Riki had not.  My friend, Cristina, my “Spaniard” as we lovingly refer to her, is from the north of Spain in Oviedo, Asturias.  It is a beautiful place, kind of with weather like the Pacific Northwest, mostly rainy, but very green.  We got lucky and had a few days of very warm weather.  Oviedo is a charming old town, with remnants of an old wall and lots of churches – my favorite.  We went into this one, I promise.

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We tried vermouth – from a very famous martini place in Oviedo.  Not my favorite, but the olive was delicious

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The next day we went to an amazing fishing village along the coast called Cudillero.  It reminded us of Cinqueterra in Italy, with its steep sides and lack of streets.  It has a lighthouse and lots of meandering paths up the mountains where the houses are only accessible by foot.  Imagine carrying your groceries up to the top of this.

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Next stop, a rocky beach called Playa del Silencio that involved a trek down a cliff.  The water was frigid, but Riki and Cristina braved it despite the rough waves.

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We picked up our chauffeur for the week that evening, Miguel (the male “Spaniard”),

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and had a fabulous dinner with Cristina’s dad, where he lives in Aviles. Heading east the next day, we stopped along the shore at a spot where the water comes through the land and creates a small sandy cove – Playa de Gulpiyuri.

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We took a funicular up to the village of Bulnes (population ~50 in the summer, 5 in the winter) where you can see the Picos de Europa – a particularly nice view after an hour and half hike up some pretty steep terrain, where I learned the words for wet rocks – piedras mojadas.  Bulnes is not accessible by car and the funicular is a relatively new development.  Prior to the funicular, it was only reachable by a hour long hike.

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Next stop, Covadonga (also went in this church) where this massive church was built on a tall ledge.  Very impressive.  It is the area were Pelayo drove the invading Moors back into the mountains, the first victory.  I could have this all wrong, but that’s what I remember.

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They have a lot of cows here.

We went to a very cool beach that is completely enclosed on the sides, forming a “canal” of sorts before ending our day in Llanes where we stayed at Cristina’s family apartment.  Llanes is a beach town and was very crowded with people and shops.  Had to have ice cream every night of course.

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To end our trip on an educational note, we spent a few hours at the dinosaur museum, along the coast where they have found ancient footprints of actual dinosaurs.  I’m a bit skeptical of the dinosaurs with feathers idea as there were no feathers in “Land Before Time.”

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Next stop….Barcelona.

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