A Foggy Delight
"On the road to Santiago"
Despite the numerous times that my father and I went to Spain through the 90s (and the fact that I lived in the country for a year) I've only been to Oviedo - or Uviéu in Bable - once. Nevertheless, the city conformed exactly to what I had expected and hoped for of a city in northern Spain. The rain-soaked green fields of Asturias and its misty, often heavily foggy highways gave way to one of the wettest and foggiest cities I have ever been to. Indeed, the drive from the Basque Country into Asturias and its capital was often treacherous, as the road was so foggy you could barely make out the tail lights of the car in front of you, let alone the many curves and bends in the road. Luckily, we made it safe and sound to this often forgotten northern city, a stopover for those en route to Santiago de Compostela.
Perhaps it was the fact that we were out early on a foggy morning, or maybe that we were visiting a city near the Camino de Santiago two years before the major pilgrimage at the start of the new millenium, but Oviedo seemed like a ghost-town as we were touring the main sights in the centre of the city. There were practically no people out on the streets, and we managed to wander through the grounds of various churches and monasteries unaccosted. It was enjoyable, but also a bit creepy, given the heavy fog (you can see it in the pictures) that shrouded everything.
"A changed city"
Of course, we spent only a day in Oviedo, and never really got to see much of the city's cultural or business life. The centre felt like a town lost in time, with its cloak of fog and its beautiful old buildings and gardens, but I fear much of that has changed since we were in the city. Still, I have fond memories of the entire enchanted green landscape of Asturias.