This weekend I went to Gijón in my first attempt at exploring the region of Asturias. It is the largest city in the region and only about 30 kms away from Oviedo, or half an hour on the bus via the freeway.
On Friday night at the bus station, I painlessly bought a return ticket from the automatic ticket machine and then spent the next 10 minutes, whilst waiting for my bus, wondering why there were 20 people queuing at the counter to buy their tickets when there were two perfectly good machines not being used at all that were capable of dispensing tickets in under 2 minutes. Soon enough I was alighting at the bus station in Gijón and feeling determined that I would not get lost. I was heading to the house of a fellow “auxiliar de conversación” to have dinner with her and another two American auxiliares living in Gijón. We had a great night of home-made paella and English-language conversation. I stayed the night so as to have time to see Gijón by daylight the next day.
Gijón is a pretty town, but not quite as beautiful as Oviedo architecturally or with as much character. But as compensation there is the magnificent sea. There is a small marina section and also some strips of golden, sandy beach. In keeping with the Spanish passion for walking around outside to watch people, meet people and be seen by other people, there are long stretches of paved promenade alongside. It was a beautiful sunny day, quite out of season, and everything looked more beautiful than usual probably!
I also tried my first sidra (cider), the regional speciality, while out for tortilla española that afternoon with the friends I had made the night before, but more on that later.
Now for some photos of Gijón for you. I will certainly be going back often to take some more of the bracing sea air (note to self: have read enough Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë for the time being…)
All the answers are in for the TV competition and all entrants did extremely well! However there can be only one winner, and it is Kyle as he was the only one to figure out Padres Forzosos is Full House. Other recent gems I have spied on the television include Mujeres Desesperadas (Desperate Housewives), Me llamo Earl (My name is Earl), American Dad, Dora La Exploradora, Numb3rs, CSI, NCIS, Ben X and the list goes on. Nice to know some things are no different on the other side of the world!