Who needs sleep?

May 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

Apparently I do.  I slept for 12 hours last night, and now, after being awake for a whopping 6 hours, I’m ready for a nap.  Yikes!  I hope that by tomorrow I’ll be back on track!

This is the view from my aunt and uncle's porch. Not too shabby!

Today was my first full day in Spain.  Since I slept through the entire morning, my aunt and I didn’t have a whole lot of time for adventure before she had to leave for work this evening.  We took a brief driving tour around Gijon, mostly to get me oriented with where my aunt and uncle’s home is in relation to the rest of the city.  It’s a pretty small city on the northern coast of Spain.  It began as a fishing village, and the center of the city is a historical district from those days.  Gijon has been an important port in Spain for a long time, and it still is a booming port city today.  The city has two distinct bays, one which is the port and is full of boats, and one which is the recreational beach.  The historical district is on a little peninsula between those two bays.  When I say “little” I mean “tiny.”  There are buildings all along this stretch of land, but from one spot you can see through an archway and see the other bay.  Walking from one to the other through that archway probably would take less than ten minutes.  It’s just a tiny finger of land.

Additionally, there is beach all along the edge of the city, including one section of beach just a 10 minute walk from my aunt and uncle’s house.  That beach is a nude gay beach, however, so I’m not likely to spend a great deal of time there.  :P  The beach in the center of the city is only a 20 minute walk, so I’ll probably get to spend some time there if I choose.

The beach, as seen from my aunt's back yard.

There is a beautiful walkway that leads all along the coast from the middle of Gijon for about 15K (roughly 9 miles) to the east.  It runs along not far behind my aunt’s house, and walking along that path to the center of the city only takes about 30 minutes.  I’m sure I’ll try that out while I’m here, too.

Looking East along the coast in Gijon from a spot about ten minutes walk behind my aunt's house.

Looking West from the same spot. The little building is a hotel. Can you imagine a more picturesque place to stay?

The landscape is incredible.  Everything is hilly and steep except for the area right at the center of the city on the shore.  The weather has been pretty grey and overcast while I’ve been here, and there was a thunderstorm earlier.  Now, it’s pouring again, although it did clear up for a while this afternoon.  My aunt says that it rains here most days, but typically just for a short time and it’s sunny the rest of the time.  The thunder was so, so loud that I could feel it in my eardrums.  It was as though I was sitting inside a giant timpani.  My aunt’s house is so high on the hill at the outskirts of the city that there is not much but sky to see out most of the windows.  I watched incredible lightening for a little while.  The storm only lasted for about 45 minutes, though, and then it was relatively sunny and clear.

The view from the Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial parking lot.

We spent a few minutes at the Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial today.  We stopped by to pick up tickets to a Bollywood dance show happening this Saturday night, and while we were there I wandered around a little and took some pictures.  The center was originally a trade school for orphans of soldiers who were killed in the Spanish Civil War. In more recent years it was still operating as a trade school, but it was closed a few years ago.  The city then converted it into the Laboral, which is host to a lot of cultural events and activities as well as a museum of art created using modern technologies or inspired by modern technologies.  There is a big clock tower, modeled after Big Ben, which you can climb up and see a panoramic view of all of Gijon.  We didn’t visit the museum or the tower today, but we’re planning to go back to do both later in my visit.

The chapel and clock tower at Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial.

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