Exploring Gijon

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today, my aunt and I spent a couple of hours walking around the center of the city of Gijon.  It’s a pretty small city, so we got a pretty complete tour in.  We spent a while in Cimadevilla, which is the old section of the city.  Cimadevilla is located in the center peninsula of Gijon, between the two bays.

The Western bay of Gijon as seen from the Western edge of Cimadevilla. Behind the breaker wall is the "sport port" and farther to the right (outside the frame of the photo) is the industrial port.

The peninsula is narrowest at the inland end, where one can see from one bay to the other.  The walk across might be five minutes.  To walk the entire outer perimeter of the peninsula might take half an hour or so.  We peered around a bit, walking up tiny, narrow streets between many old and historic buildings.

The view downhill on a street in Cimadevilla.

A wonderful little home in Cimadevilla.

After our exploration, we had a lunch of typical and traditional Asturian dishes.  We started with a green salad with tomatoes and onions.  Then we had a dish of clams in an unbelievably delicious sauce (white wine and butter).  Following the clams came grilled squid.  It was pungently flavorful, very strong, and delicious.  Finally, we had fried anchovies.  They were giant anchovies, though, so they were more like sardines.  These were also really incredibly delicious.  A typical dessert in Asturias is cheese.  I tried a very strong cheese, much like an extreme version of bleu cheese, which was also great.  Everything was fantastic! It was a wonderful meal.  And apparently I’ve passed some sort of test by enjoying traditional Asturian food, or so claims my aunt. :)

Grilled squid.

Fried anchovies, although their size makes them more like sardines.

A very strong cheese (something like bleu cheese) and crusty bread.

After lunch, I rolled along back into the center of the city where we wandered about looking at shops and landmarks and running a few quick errands.  We saw most of the downtown area today, and I think I have a pretty good sense of the city, at least during the daytime.  My aunt says that the nightlife is robust, especially in Cimadevilla, which was practically empty while we were there.  She says that much of the city will fill in with people at night.  There were bars everywhere and loads of restaurants, too.  I can imagine that when each of those is booming the whole city takes on a different life.  We’ll go back some night so I can observe that aspect of the culture in action.

I was surprised and highly amused by this Wikileaks graffiti on the side of a building in Cimadevilla.

After our walking tour of the city, we took a cruise up to the coast to the East of the city.

View of the coast looking East, from a spot a few miles East of photos in earlier posts.

View of the coast looking West. You can see how the cliffs come right down into the water in many places.

The coastline continues to impress me.  It’s just so dramatic.  There are many small beaches all along the coast at places where rivers meet the ocean.  Each of these beaches is in an inlet with cliff outcroppings on either side.  The cliffs lead straight into mountains, as does the beach in places where it exists.

The view up the mountain directly behind the beach.

Another shot up the mountain. The pictures don't do justice to how extremely steep it is.

The mountains are extraordinarily steep, dizzying.

Here is the much anticipated photo of one of the enormous aloe plants outside my aunt's house. The flower stalk is probably more than twice my height.

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