Sunday, April 24, 2011

Asturias vistas

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Asturias vistas, a set on Flickr.

We've been really busy with work and projects for a while but still managed to take a few shots at the changing colors of Asturias. Every new year uncovers a different combination of shades of brown and orange and green in October, announcing that there will be many short days and long nights ahead. This winter we didn't have much snow, at least not in Oviedo, and February had really mild weather, announcing a gorgeous spring that has already arrived; wonderful greens and prairies dotted with tiny pink, yellow and white flowers.

In the late summer we visited the dry Babia plains past Caldas de la Luna, and came back via Puerto de Somió -some sights and a very narrow road going down hill. In the late winter we explored the different beaches of Muros del Nalón, walking from beautiful Xilo up into the woods of the coastal trail; then it was Villaviciosa estuary and a couple of farms on the way to the Pontal, watching the tidal changes. We also had time for a short trip to Playa de San Juan de la Arena near the Airport of Asturias, which resulted in a mix of awe at a nearby stretch of open beach, and sadness looking at another beach near the village. The latter with remnants of something to dark to be sand, branches and logs that the sea washed ashore from the winter storms ... lying sadly on a stretch of muddy sand.

Last week it was time for Naranco Hill where we saw some amazing ponies.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oviedo winter icy whites

Naranco "Pista Finlandesa" walk started on Uria St. where a quick glimpse of the hill behind FEVE was a call to go back home via the Finnish path. It started snowing heavily half way through the path uphill, but by then it was too late to go back.

The way down vía VIllamejil was awesome: free of cars and buses, not a human in sight. Street lights spotting falling snow that soon became a soft white carpet, on a road now empty and easy to walk. By the time I arrived in Pando my fingers were somewhat frosted -bad quality gloves, lesson learned, next time remind me to wear the King Kong ones.

The final stroll across Pando was easy by the time I saw a police car followed by the one bus coming downhill. The next day (Sunday) walking on ice to go roaming in Oviedo City was not so pleasant at first, it started by having to identify fast which pedestrian crossings were a frozen no go. Past the Milán square (become ice ring) it took a while to get to Parque San Francisco, which was sheer delight: rows of trees dressed in glamourous white with the Naranco background in the sun. We didn't find any fairies -xadas nor dwarfs... but Oviedo version of snow white was well worth walking on the thin ice.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The river

The river - - - > See the whole set of images.
Originally uploaded by MarquiBeck

Monday November 2nd was a holiday in Asturias, so we took off to visit Fuensanta area. The drive from Oviedo was fast, not much traffic along the way... and the weather was like a spring day with the usual showers and brief shots of sunshine.

Getting there was easy and the directions proved right... we found free parking under the trees and noticed a fountain with the mineral water brand, where locals came to fill their plastic bottles... lining up.

I ventured into the forest that smelled so very good... taking shots at almost everything the camera could focus on, the colors were so dazzling... Yellows and browns, fading ochre and golden shades with bright green grass framing the dashes informed by the many falling leaves.

It was a nice walk with some splashes in the mad along the road up hill, until we encountered a naughty looking cow... it looked more like a bull with its short horns pointing straight ahead and so we stopped and pondered the way. Loud dogs in the neighborhood contributed to inform maybe this wasn't the day... and a light drizzle started to fall, so we paid attention to their barking.

We've found a great jogging spot then coming next spring... soon it'll be winter ... time to switch to ski moods and gear... and head it up the Pajares and San Isidro mountains!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wot an electric Saxo?

Wot an electric Saxo?
Originally uploaded by MarquiBeck

Had I not gone to the "Feria" with a young Twitter friend, I'd probably have missed this beauty, namely an electric -or part electric- car resembling my first car in Spain, a white Citroen Saxo I had from 1999 to 2001. Just the sight if it and the hope that one day soon we might be using this in Oviedo normally, made my day.

The "Feria de Gijón" expert young guide insisted we go round and round visiting each and every building, except one that was not too inviting with a description that said: synthetic cement. Someone mentioned we might find a private collection of pictures in here, not informed by any signal or brochure, so we just went past it (the Twitter friend wasn't too tempted to go in, neither was I).

Other than the electric car novelty, the exhibit and theme voted by both of us as most attractive was "Living in Space" (cajAstur & INTA) where the hosts were charming. We also enjoyed the exhibits of "Montaña Central" and "Valle del Nalón". The rest was a mix of Petticoat Lane flea market and the snacks and drinks alleys you find in attraction parks. My friend had a big laugh with the Gijón City Web2.0 sports exhibit when they asked him if he'd like to participate in some video "virtual".

I thought it rather funny that most exhibits would close during Spanish lunch hours: 14:30 - 16:30hrs when most people are visiting. We went for a walk in the nearby gardens of an Asturias and its people thematic centre, after tasting Spanish sausage sandwich and homemade sweets followed by coffee from a brand you don't find in supermarkets, it tasted like the real thing.

Did I mention we saw an electric scooter? "cool people ride electric" says the brochure. The leaflet we got at the Gijón City Council building re-directs to a web of Fundación Prodintec that today informs: "Headlines, In these moments we have no(t) headlines". (somewhat perplexing)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The other side

The other side
Originally uploaded by MarquiBeck

It took a couple hours and a firm resolution not to go back when we were half way up Naranco hill... this time we made it to the Cristo parking area in order to easy going jog all the way down the main road to Oviedo.

The trail heading up after you pass by the lodge is rather narrow, at spots it makes you wonder if it's safe to keep going. This was last Sunday so when I mentioned in class this Monday that I'd been up there, there was word of wild pigs, snakes and you name it... but I don't know if that can be taken seriously. Students are creative with narrative making fun of the stories most of the time ... which is most welcome.

After we reached the new road (a mere gravel path really ... zilch indication signs by the way) connecting Lugones to Oviedo via Naranco uphill, it felt safe though rather lonely. At last the actual road up from Oviedo to Cristo came through and with it cars of course... We did find another trail heading up through the green, sort of, for half way through you're in antenna land but can't complain... we need them to tweet right?

Jogged the way back down via the main road past the barbecue place, we re-discovered the ancient church site, (stills mandatory) soon followed by the snack and restaurant area which was not too bad. In all it was circa two hours and plenty of non-stop running so better don't ask if my body is informing today, I should do this more often ;-)