01.08.18 — Travel

Road Trip Part 1: Oviedo

Picking back up from where I left my last blog post, I guess I should now get into the juicy details of what I’ll call the Northern Road Trip! Forming the first half of my summer holidays, me and Kevin planned a trip along the northern coast of Spain, making good and proper use of his mum’s car which she had so kindly let us borrow for a few days. This post is followed up by Part 2 and Part 3.

As I mentioned, I left on a Wednesday, but it was not until mid-afternoon as I had some important business to attend to first! That Wednesday was to be my last chance to see Heidi before she became the last member of Cake Club to return to her country of birth, as she was to leave whilst I was lolling around in Asturias. As she was also to graduate in my absence, her mum had also come to visit, and as she’d spend a lot of her childhood in the north of England, it was decided that we’d all meet up for a spot of lunch at a legendary Spanish food spot.

Some of the best tortilla and pisto I've ever had

We gathered at Casa Dani in the north of the city, grabbing ourselves a drink and getting chatting away, which soon led to hilarity as jokes were flying around and we were being attended by the world’s cheekiest waiter! I think me and Heidi’s mum may have confused poor Heidi a bit though with all of our references to things back in the north of old Blighty. On top of all this, the food that we were presented with was downright delicious, with everything from tortilla (Spanish omelette) to pisto (like a thick ratatouille) having been cooked to perfection.

Striking a pose

As with all good things though, I did eventually have to leave, as I didn’t want to be missing my 3pm train to Oviedo. After saying my farewells to Heidi and hurrying off to the train station, I was soon zipping up through Castilla-Leon in what was proving to be a rather dull train journey, for in order to keep things light and easy I’d not packed my iPad or anything.

Upon arrival I was greeted by the familiar grey skies and sticky humidity of Asturias, and hung around the train station until Kevin rocked up in the car. After a quick stop off at his to dump my things, we headed straight out to meet up with Camila and Samuel for a delicious slap-up Mexican dinner.

Reunited in Oviedo
A plate of taco deliciousness

After we’d had a good catch up over some food and then a cheeky pint at the local Irish pub, it was time for me and Kevin to call it a night, but not after we’d discussed in great detail Camila and Sam’s new pet dog, Luke – a very important topic of conversation for me.

Once we’d enjoyed a decent lie in the next morning, Kevin and I once again hopped back in the car and made our way uphill, to the summit of a large hill which overlooks most of Oviedo. Once we began to ascend, however, it became pretty obvious that the views that we thought we were going to get would be nowhere to be seen, as we found ourselves navigating the winding road through increasingly heavy fog.

Arriving at the top
Eerie would be an understatement

After having lunch in the car in the form of a couple of salads that we’d picked up at Mercadona, we soon got a bit weirded out by our surroundings and decided to head back down and out of the clouds. On the way we made a few stops, as it turns out that Asturias is dotted with pre-Roman architecture dating from the 7th to the 11th centuries, with the couple of examples we went to visit taking the form of ancient churches.

A pre-Romanesque church

In the fog we had no chance of enjoying the views over Oviedo.

Looking down to where Oviedo should be seen

Once we were back down where we could see where we were going, we headed then to a spot which Kevin had been wanting to take me for a while, and it definitely wasn’t your typical tourist attraction! We headed out to a relatively small town in the Asturian countryside, whereupon we were presented with a huge abandoned ceramics factory! Of course we had a look around, and I took plenty of photos, but I’ll have to save them for an upcoming blog post because there’s too damn many to edit and upload in time. For now, make do with this teaser photo which shows a tiny bit of what’s to come in the background…

Do you see any factory?

After wandering around the factory for hours, were both pretty tired, and so headed to the local shopping centre to have a snoop around the sales and grab some quick and easy sit-down food for the evening. Once we’d filled ourselves on ice cream and croquettes, we headed back to Kevin’s flat for a relatively early night and to brace ourselves from what we didn’t realise would be a crazy day ahead…

But it’s here where I must cut the story short, for this blog post represents the first in what shall be a three-part series documenting our travels along the coast. You can now check out Part 2, the next installation, or skip ahead to Part 3 if you’re feeling crazy.