A while back I had talked about being hospitaleros. Well, not too terribly long after that weekend course, we found out that we were assigned to an albergue in Ponferrada for the first half of July. Ponferrada is about 330 km away from us, to the southwest…SO…naturally we decided to take advantage of the ride and make a stop or two in some places we’ve been wanting to see.
Queue Oviedo. Oviedo is situated in Northern Spain and with a population of about 33,000, it is the capital city of Asturias. It is known in some travel books to be the “prettiest city in Northern Spain” and it also has a lot of pre-Romanesque architecture (C: “Did you say pre-Romanesque architecture??” hahahahahaha). So of course we had to go check it out. Plus, although it was a wee bit of a detour, it was more or less on our way to Ponferrada.
When we got there, there was a big market going on…loved the colors of this building and the flowers.
Right after that, we started the Church and Museum tour of the city. Deep breath.
This is San Julián de los Prados, dating back to the beginning of the 9th Century and also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Then there was the Cathedral. There were like five weddings going on that day – there and at other churches – almost all with bagpipers and guests alllll sortsa decked out.
Then despite getting a bit lost, we eeeeeeked in just in time (thank heavens) for the last tour of the day here, Santa Maria del Naranco, completed in 848. There wasn’t really all that much to see, and our teacher-from-Ferris-Bueller-like guide was not incredibly insightful. But the views of the city were lovely, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This was Part 2 of the tour, yet another UNESCO World Heritage site. San Miguel de Lillo was completed in 848. It, too, is…well…fairly nondescript. But we can check if off the list.
Then finally we visited El Cristo, a enormous statue (note the people next to it) high above the city, and also boasting lovely views. Check, check. Movin on.
That night we drove to Gijon, a coastal city not 30 minutes from Oviedo. We got there in time to check out the nightlife, which was pretty fun and vibrant, and very pretty along the water.
The next day, we had to make our way to Ponferrada so we took a bit of a scenic route. It was a gorgeous day and the landscape was so pretty, I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
Love the thistles, especially since we had them in our wedding flowers!
And these, I donevenknow what they are but I luff them.
And so that was the last peaceful 24 hours before we arrived in Ponferrada. The calm before the storm…