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Bus Ride to Asturias
Feb. 24, 2017
Over the weekend, all 33 of us piled into a bus, off to visit the hometown of Spanish teacher Señora Marta Fuertes, Oviedo, Asturias, located in northern Spain. Even though we were cooped up in a bus for over four hours, it was totally worth it. We drove through a breathtaking mountain range that looked like something out of a fairy tale. The grass was unrealistically green, even though it is technically winter here, and adorable little casitos peppered the mountains, adding extra dashes of blue, purple, white, orange and yellow to the greenery. Herds of vacas and ovejas wandered around the mountains aimlessly, lackadaisically munching on the rich green grass. The bus kept taking us higher and higher, through numerous tunnels where we actually drove through the mountains. Soon enough, we were so high up that my ears popped, twice! Some of the mountains were so tall that their white tips actually disappeared into the clouds. Some people joked that we were not in Spain anymore, but Switzerland! The scenery was so surreal that even now I cannot quite believe how beautiful it was.
Feb. 25, 2017
Sidra is an extremely fermented apple cider that is the token drank of Asturias. In Oviedo, there was an entire street dedicated to solely Sidra bars. The fun thing about Sidra is that, since it is so highly concentrated, the camareros have to add oxygen to it so that it is drinkable. They do this by holding the bottle straight over their heads with one hand, and the glass as far down as possible with the other. They pour so that there is a very long faucet of Sidra flowing from the bottle, a good foot above their heads, and into the glass, which is held at about elbow or hip height, so that the splashing of the Sidra into the glass incorporates oxygen into the drink. Yes, it was quite messy, and they often poured the Sidra outside, or had a bin to catch any splashes. No, we did not drink it because it is alcoholic. But, we did see numerous camareros using this signature technique when we went out for tapas for lunch, which is the most important meal of the day here.
Feb. 24-26, 2017
During our weekend in Asturias, we were nonstop traveling from city to village and back again. Everywhere there was a sight to see. Upon our arrival, we attended a nice meal with ample food options, and one of the most interesting aspects of Asturias, the Sidra! We then went on to stop at a local water fountain on our way home, where many of us participated in a game of tag. On our second day there were various trips to fishing villages. We were able to have a glimpse of rural life as we climbed up and down steep mountains through the Spanish countryside. Once there, we were able to make small stops at various spectacular places. We went to a few fishing villages, where the population couldn’t have been more than 2,000 people. Residents were living their daily lives around us as we explored these incredible beaches, climbing rocks, taking pictures, dipping our toes in the brisk sea water and simply admiring the view. We were all blown away by the astonishing view of the clear coastal waters and the quaint houses, buildings and boats that lined the shores. On Sunday, our last day in Asturias, we spent a lot of time in Oviedo, where we had a delicious meal once again, followed by free time to roam around the city. There was much to see, being that it is a city with a lot of history, and we were also able to participate in the age old tradition of flea market shopping, as well as visit the shops and bakeries that are world renowned. Overall, we had an exciting and action packed weekend like no other!