If anything, being English helps make you completely unphased about a bit of rain. Even in typically rainy Scandinavia, most sensible people head to a cafe to sit out a downpour. Not so much us Brits. Take a look at any English high street on a rainy Saturday afternoon, and I bet it will still be packed with shoppers. This resilience to the wet stuff means that you often get somewhere to yourself when you are abroad however, which is perfect when you are exploring somewhere new (or normally heaving with people – Venice in the rain for example, totally empty!) and Oviedo, the capital city of Asturias was no exception when we visited a few days ago – on a particularly rainy day…
Whilst wise Asturian folk filled many a Sidreria (cider bars – this area is incredibly famous for cider, there’s even an entire street full of bars and restaurants dedicated to the stuff), this determined English party explored Oviedo’s rain glossed streets, revelling in the fact that we seemingly had much of the place to ourselves!), and spurred on by the many Pasteleria (pastry shops) and their tasty wares (and yes I finally managed to sample a Carbayon or two – well worth the wait!)…
The Casco Antiguo (old town) is particularly beautiful, full of ancient stone walls, marble floors, the incredibly Gothic San Salvador Cathedral, and statues lining its elegant streets. Lots and lots of statues.
If you happen to be there on a Tuesday or a Saturday, do seek out the little market square where vendors (some of whom look like they could tell you a story or two about Oviedo and its plentiful history) sell beautiful vegetables, and all manner of dried beans, herbs and flowers, and don’t seem to care much about the weather either.
Of course, if you are not English, you might prefer the nearby covered market, which I don’t suggest you visit if you are starving, it’s full of the most incredible regional food, and you will come out laden with bags of stuff that you later realise you somehow need to get home with very limited baggage allowance (the chorizo is particularly good here, as are the little sets to take back to make Fabada Asturiana (Asturian bean stew))…
Asturia is famous for its cheeses, chorizo, saffron, and cider amongst countless other thing, so as you might imagine, Oviedo has masses of great restaurants to choose from. Feeling gradually defeated by the weather, we opted for La Finca, a super friendly Sidreria which specialises in barbecued meat, the local bean stew, and of course cider.
Here you can choose to have it poured for you (small amounts are poured from a great height to aerate the stuff) or operate the special cider pouring robot at each table). The Small People obviously delighted in the latter, and such was their cider robot enthusiasm after a while we were grateful that a) Mr R was driving so couldn’t drink more than a glass anyway) and b) it poured such small amounts that it didn’t pose a threat to our continued explorations planned for that afternoon (as per Strasbourg and the what is now known as the rumbaba incident in our house)…
Don’t limit yourself to the old town. If you are lucky enough to have a couple of days here, Oviedo has so much to offer. You could explore the modern shopping areas on tree lined streets a little further out for example, but I absolutely recommend you take the (slightly hair raising in parts) Monte Naranco Road, all the way up to see a particularly famous giant bearded guy at the top (incidentally you can drive all the way up, don’t feel like you have to reverse all the way back down again having misread a sign like we did!), the views from up here out and across the city are just incredible…
Perhaps even more impressive though are the number of pre Roman sites you can stop off at along the way (the car park for most of them is a bit of a walk though just to warn you!), my particular favourite being the Santa Maria Del Naranco below… To think it has stood there for quite as long as it has, is truly mind-blowing (it’s only open on select days and at certain times, do check if you want to see inside!)…
Oviedo, you have just been added to my favourite cities in Spain list, rain or no rain…
Cathy (Mummytravels) says
I’ve never really come across Oviedo before so what a lovely introduction and such great statues everywhere – plenty to discover whatever the weather throws at you. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
Thanks Cathy! :)
Elizabeth (Wander Mum) says
Still looks great – even in the rain. The pre-roman chapel is amazing. #citytripping
Thanks Elizabeth! The chapel is just incredible, and there’s another one just up the road from here!
You showed us a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing
Thank you so much! :)
Mary Louise says
I am not phased by the rain, especially if I am out exploring. Still plenty of colour there to keep the senses alive!
Looks great – love the little outdoor market.
I am so used to it, it doesn’t bother me anymore! Thanks Mary Louise! :)
Erica Price says
Such an atmospheric place. I love that there are so many characterful corners to explore.
Thanks Erica! :)
Tanja (the Red phone box travels) says
beautiful town! despite the rain:) #citytripping
Than you Tanja! (:
marta - lalibretaroja says
It looks just lovely! Although I came from Spain I have the feeling I know my country very little :(
Don’t worry Marta, there’s so much of the UK that I haven’t seen yet! xx
It looks stunning, even in the miserable weather so just imagine what it would be like with sun glinting off the windows
Thanks Kara! It’s always a good sign if you like somewhere in the rain I think! :D
Nikki Thomas says
That sounds like a fascinating place. Such beautiful photos and I love the bench with the statue, that is really lovely.
Thank you Nikki! x
When the weather is good, the park in the middle of the city is lovely place to hang out.
It’s a lovely city, with loads of offer. I’m so happy you loved it too.
We only had a day there, but I loved it so much, we will definitely return! Thank you x
Louise Edwards says
Wow a culinary treat this place sounds! Love a city break and this one sounds delightful x
Thanks Louise, it’s really worth a visit! x
Rebecca Beesley says
what amazing photos and some great tips there. xxx
Thanks Rebecca! x
Jugglemum, Nadine Hill says
I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to rain – I’d have to check out the covered market!
I think you would like it! Thanks Nadine!