Saturday, July 4, 2009


The Province of Asturias, Spain

In red in the map above, Asturias is the birthplace of both of my maternal grandparents. This is our only reason for us getting off of the main Spanish tourist routes for a couple of days, the chance to connect with some of my roots for the first time.

I will stick to Asturias in general on this post and then get specific about Infiesto and Alles where my grandparents were born and raised.


In a word, COLORFUL!!!

Oviedo, the province's Capital



Cangas di Onís






Infiesto's Retirement Home



Countryside School


Asturias is a GREAT place to retire if you are seeking an idyllic lifestyle.

It is like being in a sci-fi movie with great roads, great cars in a cross between the Pacific Northwest and Bavaria but the year is 1850!

Food and drink here are at worst half of what it cost in Barcelona, maybe closer to a third!!!

Some notable's have already made their move like. . .

The lomg time, masked champion of the
Mexican Wrestling Federation in Infiesto

Former Catania Elephants Coach, Denver Wade, also in Infiesto

Even Rio Mesa's own Brian FitzGerald has already set up shop in Oviedo!


Arrival at the Asturias Airport

We flew from Barcelona via Clickair, yes, Clickair.

Clickair is one of Spain's budget airlines that is MUCH less anal than Ryanair.

Our luggage to be stowed underneath can be a whopping 23 kilos as opposed to Ryanair's 15 kilo limit. Nobody checked the weight or size of our carry-on luggage but we were under the allowable 10 kilo limit because of a MAJOR travel side note. We had DHL ship Laurie's jam packed 12 kilo Brighton bag home for us to ease the travel strain as we still have two more Ryanair flights to make.

Now, let us not totally absolve Clickair, who ONLY takes reservations on line, hence the company name. When it comes time to pay, they charged an additional 8.50 Euros to use a credit card. I tried forcing cash into the CD/DVD player in my computer but no, I HAD to pay with a credit card so they got me.

Next up, seat selection. Cost 2 Euros for regular seats, 4 Euros for aisle seats. If I refused these two options would they just bungee cord me to the wing?

We did get emergency row seats for 2 Euros each with massive leg room and it turns out that their seats are EXTRA WIDE!!! Almost heaven West Virginia!

This is Tinso, the artist who painted this picture hanging in one of Oviedo's churches.

A funny little fellow who is very proud of his work.

The Virgin Mary

Behind the red car lies El Teatro Café-Music Bar

An excellent place for breakfast it turns out with. . .

. . . interesting tables

Oviedo has some modern art work competing with its old Centro.

What the. . . ?

Oviedo's Cathedral Cámara Santa

The Grand Entry Doors to Oviedo's Cathedral

Don't look so innocent!

Sidra, THE adult beverage of Asturias

Dairy Cows at rest

Asturias is BIG on cheese production.

They like horses too.

Covadonga's Basillica

Laurie's got Covdonga's Lion by the tail.

The entry way to one of Spain's holiset shrines.

Virgin Sighting

No, not Laurie.

It was here in the cave over her shoulder that in 711 A.D. Don Pelayo placed a statue of the Virgin Mary and prayed for victory as he led his troops into battle against the Moors.

His side vanquished the infidels and thus the cult of the Virgin of Covadonga was born. She is venerated by Spaniards everywhere.

A view from the Virgin of Covadonga's cave.

Don Pelayo himself

The Emigrante in Cangas di Onís

The Roman Bridge in Cangas di Onís

The Asturian Countryside

Did I mention that it was cool and a little drizzly in Asturias? A very nice break from Barcelona's steam bath!

Learning to kayak on the Rio Sella

A girl and her pitch fork

Who is this cute little guy?

Did I fail to mention how beautiful Asturias is?

An old-time grainery upstairs protects the crop from both animals and weather.

A cheese shop in Cangas di Onís

We bought Cabrales cheese, it is like bleu cheese and gorgonzolla only STRONGER!!!



itzbfitz said...

For fear of ridicule, I neglected to tell you that I had started a school in Asturias. I am, however, as you know, a teacher of English as a Second Language.

George said...

Follow your dream Fitz!

monica said...

Thank you for sharing! My mother and our ancestors are from Asturias--there will always be a part of my heart that belongs there!