Oviedo is the capital of province of Asturias with a population of just over 220 000. It’s lovely city that people easily fall in love with. It has spacious roads and many lovely little squares where you can take your pick of the many cafes to enjoy a cuppa from. There are lots of big and beautiful buildings that were built in the Belle Epoca or Beautiful Era. It’s a pleasure walking down its streets and to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere that is so evident here after Barcelona. It also has a Wine street and a Cider Boulevard and your biggest worry is mostly which one to go to before dinner. The city is full of great restaurants and apart from the usual but varied tapas menu you can find many typical Asturian meals that we have been dutifully sampling since our arrival. Before going into the juicy bits let’s have a look at the city itself.
Oviedo is impeccably clean. It is not then surprising that it won the cleanest city in Europe title in 11 consecutive years! They don’t even have rubbish containers on the street like in any other cities. Around 8-9pm trucks go around the whole town full of rubbish bins that are put out in front of the buildings and then later collected. This is the only time when you can take your rubbish down, including recycling.
Not having graffiti on the walls is another strange sight. This however is only true for the Old Town. As soon as you walk a bit further you can see many. This is my favourite. It means ‘only love can save us’.
Oviedo also has the title of ‘The town of statues’ as there’s over 100 statues on its squares! I love stumbling up on the once I haven’t seen before. They are all very nice but these are my favourites.
This one is at the bottom of the Cider Boulevard. I think the statue of the little girl watching her mother (whatever she’s doing) is very well expressed.
Asturias has its own type of wild horses. These little horses are called ‘asturcónes’ and can be seen in the hills. These iron ones are in front of the town’s biggest park and they are often seen with kids sitting on their backs shouting ‘giddy up!’ in Spanish and making horse sounds. Endless fun.
This is Paul’s favourite. It is what you see: a giant ass. It is even called like that, ‘culo’ in Spanish means ‘bottom’. It’s great fun seeing all the tourists sitting in front of it having their photos taken. Only a few bother to have a look at the actual name of the statue.
There´s even a statue of Woody Allen here, apparently he got a prize here. Lots of people know the name of Oviedo from his film, the Vicky Christina Barcelona.
Finally I mention another thing that I find really sweet here, the street names. Some of the streets are named after famous people just as everywhere else. Here, however, you are told the title of the famous person, just in case you’re not that well-educated to know.
There are many things in Oviedo that I absolutely adore or find it interesting. It is a small town but it’s full of character and we definitely think we made the right decision moving here.