Welcome Guest | Login or Register

Spain 2010 – Day 8: Comillas and Oviedo

Day 8 is spent mostly traveling on the bus getting from Santillana del Mar to Oviedo on our way to Santiago de Compostela. However, we do make a couple stop in some historic and scenic towns and then do a tour of Oviedo where we’re spending the night. Come see the pretty pictures!

NOTE: Click on any of the images to pop open a larger version with captions. You can scroll through the images by clicking on the right or left side of each image. Click away from the pop-up to close it.

Our first stop after riding for an hour or so was in Comillas which is the home of an original Gaudi home and some other interesting historical sites. It was raining when we left Santillana del Mar and it rained most of the ride out. Fortunately, it stopped just before we got off the bus.

Comillas is the home of the Palacio del Sobrellano which is an excellent example of Indiano wealth. Indianos are Spaniards who left Spain to make their fortunes in the new colonies in the Americas. After spending some time overseas trading goods and mining gold, they would bring their fortunes back to Spain and show it off by building huge elaborate homes which were often marked with enormous palm trees on the properties (which aren’t native to Spain). The palace was built for Antonio López y López , first Marquis of Comillas.

There is also an elaborate house built by Gaudi. We weren’t able to enter either the house or the palace because we only had time enough for a quick walking tour of Comillas. I did manage to snap a few pictures of the exteriors though.

The Palacio del Sobrellano (foreground). This is a classic example of Indiano wealth. Indianos are Spaniards that went to the new colonies in Americas to make their fortune who then returned to Spain and built expensive, elaborate houses. A pretty house in Comillas. It is covered in leaves just now turning for Autumn. Another marker for the way of St. James I found in Comillas. Another church! This one is the Iglesia de San Cristóbal in Comillas. It was locked, so we couldn't go in. Anybody want to buy some stinky cheese? It's supposed to be quite good... if you can get past the smell. The Capricho de Gaudi, a house designed by Gaudi for a relative of the marquis of Comillas. This is one of his earlier designs, but it's still quite striking, isn't it? It rained on us a bit in Comillas, but we were prepared. Fortunately, the rain didn't last very long and hasn't bothered us much since.

Next, we got on the bus and rode for another hour or so until it was time for lunch. We stopped in the scenic sea-side village of San Vicente de la Barquera. The tide was quite low, so many of the boats in the pier area were beached. I had a simple lunch in a local cafe and then it was onward again towards Oviedo!

Talk about a low tide! Apparently this sight is quite common in San Vicente during low tide later in the year. Lunch in San Vicente. Chicken, eggs, fries, and beer. Pretty simple. The rest of the menu was seafood, but honestly, I was getting tired of it by this time in the trip. One of the tourists spent 90 Euros on a conquistador hat. Naturally, we passed it around the bus, trying it on, and taking pictures. My head was the only one fat enough to actually sit the hat above my ears.

Oviedo is the capital of the Asturias region of Spain. It is well known for its apple cider production and is also a major stop on the Way to St. James. We took a walking tour of the city and took in the local sights and sounds (and yes, visited another cathedral). I was quite anxious to get it over with as I wanted to get to dinner and try the cider!

The Cathedral de San Salvador. Yay! Another church! I have to admit that these all start running together after a while. Something pretty cool happens at this church though. Check out the next picture. A wedding! We were just exiting our tour of the church when we heard the bagpipes start up. Naturally, I abandoned the group and rushed over to see what all the commotion was about. What a beautiful young Spanish couple, eh?    Me posing with a statue refered to by the locals as 'The Traveler.' I offer the modern traveler comparison. Less luggage for sure!

And the cider sucked. I couldn’t believe it. For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the local drink, I expected something better. What I got was very cloudy, flat, bland tasting, and not sweet at all. Fortunately, there was also plenty of wine on offer and so I partook heartily of that. The meal wasn’t bad either.

A server pouring cider. They hold the bottle over their heads and the glass tilted at a 45 degree angle below their waist. The trash-bin looking thing is designed to catch the excess splash. Dinner in the Oviedo cider house. I'm having an Asturias style meal which is similar to Chicken Cordon Bleu, but made with beef.The colorful lobby in our hotel in Oviedo.

Although there wasn’t much to talk about today, we were still quite exhausted from all of the riding on the bus. So it was straight to the hotel from dinner and off to bed. Tomorrow we head to Santiago de Compostela, the final stop on the Way to St. James. Tune in and see as I find out what all this pilgrimage fuss is about!

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave a Reply