I'm taking a break from packing from my birthday trip home to write this, excitable and surrounded by clothes and general disorder!
Finally, we've had a week of glorious sunshine. It's been so hot, 30 degrees every day. So all in all, Fiona chose a pretty good weekend to visit Oviedo. Rosy and I met her from the bus station on Friday, still getting used to the novelty that was hot, sunny weather. After squeals of excitement and hugs all round, we went back and spent a couple of hours eating snacks and watching the Mighty Boosh before going out for dinner. We tried a new place; Tierra Astur, on Gascona - the sidra street. We chose a few plates of tapas - asturian cheeses, croquetas and salad, and took a risk and decided to try sidra sangria. We weren't expecting it to be nice, because the sidra on its own tastes like farmyards, but it was lovely! we then went on a bit of a wander, and ended up at a wine bar just outside the cathedral, chattering all the time and catching up on each other's news. When the bar closed, we meandered back home. It was a
The next day, after a lie-in, we went to Gijon to introduce Fiona to the delights of the aquarium and to take advantage of the weather and sunbathe on the beach. We went on a slightly more scenic route to get to Gijon than usual - we happily jumped on the bus that said Oviedo-Gijon-Paradas, thinking oh look the bus goes to a place called Paradas as well. it was only once the driver had already taken our tickets that we realised: paradas = stops. And so we wound our way through the countryside, the motorway sometimes flashing tantalisingly by, but evenutally we arrived in Gijon.
The aquarium was still wonderful, but a large group of middle-aged women on holiday ruined it a little bit. But we were spoiled the first time around. We spent a very happy afternoon on the beach with a picnic and sunshine - until the mist rolled in. I've never seen anything like it - one minute the sky was a cloudless blue, the next it was white and we couldn't see the sea anymore! We could actually see the mist rolling onto the beach it was weird. But when were
back on the bus to Oviedo (a direct coach this time!) the fog disappeared as soon as we left Gijon. After showering to remove half the beach from us and spending time just relaxing, we decided to experiment with our own sidra sangria - and it was a success! Who knew - the addition of lemonade, sweetened water, sugar and rum makes it actually drinkable! (even if it does give your dentist a heart attack!) Growing ever more merry on our sidra concoction, various antics ensued, involving hats, a bit of wig, facepaints and octupus impressions - the whole thing has been documented several times thanks to us all being very snap-happy with our cameras!
Once we'd exhausted the possibilities of the strange objects lying around in our flat, we headed out to Morgana, and our new favourite, Arde Paris, where I had the most delicious, if slightly bizarre, cocktail involving blackberry liquor, crushed ice and jam.
The next morning, for Fiona at least, was a definite 'morning after the night before' but luckily we had plenty of photos to fill in the gaps in her memory! In the afternoon, we went on a wander through Oviedo, even
finding a bit of the old town we'd never been in before, and did a bit of a statue tour, taking pictures of us with various statues in Oviedo. Rosy and I snapped away, taking the chance to be tourists in our own town, and getting a bit sentimental at the thought that Oviedo would soon only be memories.
Fiona went back to Valencia the next day, so after having the crazy, gorgeous ginger one back in our lives for a few days, she was gone again. But we didn';t have time to feel sad for long; preparations for the trip home had to get underway. And today, with the my last ever lecture in Spain over and done with, the only thing left to do is finish packing (which involves trying to work out what I need to leave for my last two weeks (!) here and what I can take with me now - as well as my 80's neon costume for my roller disco party, and clothes to wear while I'm a home, but which minimise the number I need to bring back. It's a military effort, and at the moment it looks more like a
war zone, so I'd better go and get on with it.
It's strange to think that when I get back next Tuesday, it really will be the final two weeks of my year abroad - this whole insane, life-changing experience is coming to an end.
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