Llanes, Ribadesella and Oviedo, Asturias, last month

We chugged west from Santander on the FEVE train to the seaside towns of Llanes and Ribadesella.

Paseo de San Pedro Llanes 816 122.JPG

Llanes is on a cliff. In the nineteenth century a fine cliff walk was built with contributions from emigrants who had gone from the town to Latin America (Americanos).

punto chica beach Llanes 816.JPG

Its beaches are coves and good for calm swimming. There’s a grand one at the nearby village of Poo. I imagine organising a long distance walk from Coo (in the Belgian Ardennes) to Poo. Perhaps via Looe.

barefoot runner walk Llanes-Poo 816 2.JPG  seaweed fertilising field walk Celorio-Poo 816.JPG

On the walk to Poo we met a barefoot runner, and saw (first smelt) seaweed spread on a field to fertilise it.

public writing ONLY LOCALS! Llanes 816.JPG

There is a wish to avoid visitors painting graffiti on the headland…

SD knitting shop Llanes 816 2.JPG

… and a useful wool shop, though the town is small …

building Llanes 816 2.JPG

… and some great buildings.

SD room 111 hotel don Paco Llanes 816.JPG

In room 111 (illustrated) of the hotel Don Paco in Llanes, converted from a convent and then a school, Sam Peckinpah paced while a Spanish person considered some kind of participation in Straw Dogs. (According to a booklet in the hotel.)

canoeists Ribadesella 816.JPG

Ribadesella, further west, is on the estuary of the river Sella down which, the week before, a canoeing festival was held.

river train Ribadesella-Oviedo 816.JPG

FEVE puts on extra trains so people can watch from the line, which follows the river.

garden Ribadesella 816 3.JPG

At Ribadesella, the east bank of the estuary is steep.

boy playing marbles Ribadesella 816.JPG

In the town below we came across boys playing marbles – like I used to do.

hotel Rosario Ribadesella 816 2.JPG

The west bank of the estuary has grand houses built by Americanos,

surfers Ribadesella 816 4.JPG

surfers Ribadesella 816.JPG

and surf. Everywhere on this holiday when I went for a run I would encounter, and be overtaken by, people with the physique of a stick, a stick made of burnished oak. When I ran in Ribadesella this was not so, and I even overtook someone. As I walked back to the hotel 30 sticks of burnished oak appeared round the corner carrying surfboards.

port, fish lonja Llanes 816.JPG   Lonja del Pescado Ribadesella 816.JPG

Each town has a 30s-style fish market;

Ribadesella 816 101.JPG

each has a surprising lack of solar thermal and solar PV on the roofs of buildings.

church bougainvillea Llanes 816.JPG  morning glory? Celorio 816.JPG

I learned to distinguish bougainvillea and morning glory.

woman, bar Oviedo 816.JPG

On a wet day we caught the train 2½ hours further on to the city of Oviedo, walked around looking for a restaurant that was open, had lunch, went to a couple of shops and came back.

staircase Oviedo 816.JPG

Oviedo, too, has great old buildings. Look at the shape of this staircase.

public writing LA MANERA DE HACER ES SER Oviedo 816.JPG

I liked it that someone found this graffiti (the way to do is to be) so annoying that they crossed it out.

statue Argüelles public man constitution Ribadesella 816.JPG

I also liked how the 1812 “Constitution of Cadiz” is honoured across the country.




Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

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