14.07.22 — Travel

Fiestes de Cabueñes

A few weeks back, Kevin landed in Spain and spent a night with me in Madrid, a quick little visit that marked the start of his extended summer holiday back here in his home country. He spent most of the rest of his trip up in Asturias with his family, and so you can guarantee that I had to get up north as much as possible to spend time with him and the rest of my friends there!

I actually headed up north twice over a two-week period, but seeing as I’m running so behind on getting blog posts written I’ve decided to merge them together into one, so here we go…

La Fiesta

The first weekend I spent in Asturias I was in Oviedo, where I’d arranged to stay with Kevin and his brother. Kevin had planned to meet me at his flat there, but wound up stuck in Gijón until late after some vermouths and a rebel train that didn’t open the doors at his stop. ¡Reclamación!

Kevin eventually arrived in a taxi, livid at this “ilegalidad” (ilegal happening) that had taken place. After a quick catch up I’d to head off to bed early so that I’d be up on time and ready to work from his flat the next morning.

We stuck our noses in this rather beautiful church in the centre.

After work, we headed to the centre of Oviedo to a bus back up to Gijón, where we met up with Cami for a much-needed reunion. We had a few beers on a terrace before heading into Burger King for a bite to eat, which wound up in me banging on about how much I wanted one of the kid’s meal toys so much that the lovely lady there gifted me a Burger King Barbie, complete with her Burger King hat!

From there, we grabbed a taxi out to our final destination for the evening: las fiestas de Cabueñes (literally “the Cabueñes party”). This party, which took place in Cabueñes, a small town outside Gijón, is a typical Asturian fiesta de prao (literally “field party”), meaning lots of drinking, singing, and dancing the night away in a field!

I’ve missed Kevin a lot since he left to for the US nearly four years ago.

The fiesta was an absolute blast, but left us all pretty exhausted the next day. Me and Kevin had to get back to his flat in Oviedo, but there were no taxis to take us back into Gijón to get the night bus, so we wound up having to walk for about an hour. Once we were in the bus station, no night bus showed up to take us onwards even after another hour of waiting, so we wound up having to walk even further and grab the first train in the morning.

As can imagine we were absolutely knackered, and spent most of Saturday sleeping in and relaxing around the house. We did eventually have to move, as we’d arranged to spend the evening with a group of friends, and so we headed into the centre of Oviedo to meet up with them for a lovely Asturian meal.

I love this photo of Kevin admiring the meat platter overlooked by a hungry woman.

After stuffing ourselves on all the traditional dishes, from pastel de cabracho to picadillo, we headed off to an Irish pub to end the night with a cheeky gin and tonic. We then headed home, luckily arriving just before a huge thunderstorm begun its attack on the city.

The next day was a short one for me as the majority of it was spent in a car heading back down to Madrid. We did manage to squeeze a couple more things before I left though, starting with a vermouth in Oviedo with Raquel and Joel, where I managed to leave my new sunglasses on the table when I left…

I then headed up to Gijón, where I’d arranged to have lunch with Cami before getting picked up and whisked off back down to Madrid in a carshare. It was a lovely end to an amazingly fun weekend up in my second home that is Asturias.

La Churrascada

A mere ten days later I was already on a bus and headed back up to Asturias, this time to spend a long weekend at Cami’s place in Gijón. I arrived somewhat late, but we still managed to cram plenty in: heading out to buy some sheets for her sofa bed, grabbing some snacks, and preparing ourselves to head out for a meal.

In the time I’d been back in Madrid, James (Kevin’s husband) had arrived in Spain to join him for the last week of his holidays, and so our evening meal was arranged so that the four of us could have some food, drink some cider, and have a little boogie.

And that we did, with a delicious and hilarious meal complete with croquetas, tortos, and some delicious pork. Tipsy off the cider that was duly flowing throughout the evening, we headed to a club in the centre of Gijón for a little boogie, before we all grew tired and headed back home.

The next day, me and Cami were picked up by Andrea and Andrei, who’d agreed to give us a lift to the day’s activities: a churrascada (barbecue) up on one of the mountains that overlooks Gijón. Even the journey to get there was quite an adventure, with Andrei’s car overheating on the steep roads up to our picnic spot.

We eventually arrived in one piece and cracked open some drinks and snacks whilst Andrei and Joel helped get the fire started to get the meat on the go. We had some laughs and a great catch up, even if the cool sea breeze was battering us a bit in the exposed spot that we’d picked.

We all wound up huddled around the grill to try and keep warm!

Our quick lunch soon wore on into the late afternoon, with course after course of meat, snacks, and delicious homemade desserts that people had brought along with them. When the fog rolled in and the humidity made the cold too much to bear, we packed up shop and headed back to the car.

Back in Cami’s flat, me and Cami had a quick nap before heading out for the evening. We headed to a local bar for some drinks, walking home afterwards in order to get a few steps in before heading off to bed. This walk home was an interesting one, as we walked past a flower shop at midnight that had its door open and all its lights on but there was nobody inside, and then later stumbled across a long-abandoned block of flats right on the main road. Spooky!

The next day Cami and I headed back out into the centre of Gijón for lunch, for which Cami took me to a local fish and chip shop for what I judged to be a rather fancy plate of fish and chips. We then headed down to the same beachside bar that we’d had drinks at to celebrate my birthday, where we had a couple of cocktails until the weather turned very Asturian and a torrential downpour blew in.

As it was a Sunday afternoon and with the weather how it was, we decided to spend the evening at Cami’s, where we watched some TV, chatted, and had a drink together to end another lovely weekend.

The next day I worked from Cami’s flat. After work, we had a quick lunch together before I had to head off in search of my carshare back down to Madrid, and thus my second trip up north was concluded.

As usual, I had an absolute blast with these couple of quick trips up to Asturias. It was great to have Kevin back in Spain, and also to see James in person for the first time since he visited the UK back in 2017. The two of them are now back stateside, but I’ll be seeing them soon… but more on that another time!