The weekend in Oviedo was wonderful — with lots of new sights and people, and marginally cooler weather. We drove up from Madrid on Friday afternoon, and had managed to get all of 40 minutes away when the engine temp light came on. It was 102F outside, we were climbing a long grade, and the air conditioning was on, so it’s not surprising that the poor Yaris protested. To be on the safe side, we switched the a/c off. And left it off for four more hours. It was too late and we were too tired to do anything when we got in to town but collapse. (Though I ate a plateful of octopus first. Yum!)
On Saturday, Mr. Pants suggested breakfast at Rialto, home of many delicious and slightly frightening sweet treats (e.g., carbayones, which are puff-pastry shells filled with ground almond and sweet wine paste and covered with a cinnamon glaze). I had a croissant — carbayones are NOT breakfast food! It was one of the best I’ve eaten lately, made with real butter. On the way out, I picked up some of their famous candies, called “Moscovitas,” for certain people to be visited later this month.
After breakfast, Mr. Pants went for a run, and I took my camera for a walk around town. First stop, Plaza de la Escandalera, to see the pipers and dancers who
plague grace Oviedo on the weekends.
Oviedo is part of the Celtic region of Spain, and its musical tradition has a lot in common with Brittany, Ireland, and Scotland. That includes pipes, and lots of them. They were everywhere!
After my bagpipe fix, I headed for the Cathedral. There was a group of dancers in the plaza, who, when I got there, were patiently posing for photos with a large group of tourists. Finally, they got down to business!
Those costume are nearly all wool — and it was 90F! Talk about dedication to preserving the folkways… I was so enthralled by the dancing that I forgot to take any pictures of the Cathedral. Fortunately, I found my way back later.
I also wandered through the Fontán area, where the market is. In addition to the wrought-iron structure built at the end of the 19th century, on Saturdays there are vendors outside. You can get pretty much anything.
By this point, Mr. Pants had run and showered, and it was time for an aperitivo in the shade. I’d already found a likely spot, where he met me for a beer. Oviedo is on the Camino de Santiago, and we saw plenty of pilgrims. There was a couple doing the Camino at the table next to us. They looked happy to be sitting down!
From our first stop, we went on to a different place for fried sardines (bocartes) topped with fried Serrano ham. I fell on them like a ravening beast, hence no photo.
Mr. Pants took over the camera and posed me in the little street where he was born. That’s the blue linen Hot Patterns shift dress I made and pretty much live in. I whipped a second one up right before we left, and managed to get it into the suitcase. (Stay tuned for the reveal.)
After lunch and a long nap, we drove to the beach to visit my friend Mar, who has a summer house in a village called La Isla. We poked around and hiked along the headland before having a much-appreciated G and T on Mar’s terrace. As so often happens on the Rhode Island side of the Atlantic, the fog had rolled in and cooled things down.
Then it was back to Oviedo for dinner and into bed, since there was plenty planned for Sunday…