Hotel Casa Soto

C/ Armando Cotarelo, 16, Vegadeo, Oviedo, 33770, Spain
Hotel Casa Soto
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More about Oviedo

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It is what it isIt is what it is

Parque de San Francisco.Parque de San Francisco.

CathedralCathedral

Andrey and PaulAndrey and Paul

Travel Tips for Oviedo

OVIEDO

by AsturArcadia

Oviedo sits atop a broad saddle between Monte Naranco (to the north) and the line of hills which form the watershed between the Nalón valley (to the south) and that of the Nora and its tributaries to the northeast. The old quarter, surrounding the cathedral and spreading north along the calle Uréa to the Estación del Norte (now shared by RENFE and FEVE) is quite compact, and much of the urban expansion surrouning it has taken place over the past quarter century or so. The irregularly shaped diamond with Avilés, Gijón, Oviedo and Mieres forming its apexes is nowadays referred to as the central Asturian megacity, an urban wilderness of housing, industrial and trading estates, liberally sprinkled with hypermarkets. It is like a vacuum - it sucks in population from all the surrounding rural areas, and nowadays has close on a million inhabitants.

El Fontán, right in the heart of the old quarter, dates from the 18th century, but was radically rebuilt in the 1990s. In the past, it was the city's marketplace - for real market produce, including piles and piles of wooden clogs - 'madreñes'. Nowadays there is still a daily market, but fashion clothes, shoes and handbags prevail, amd not a 'madreña' (still less a pair of 'madreñes') to be seen. Flat dwellers do not need them. There is no mud on modern city pavements, and even the dog owners chase after their canine companions with 'poop scoops', for fear of being fined. Designer shops and restaurants have replaced the 'hole in the wall' variety, with prices to match. The market hall, nearby, offers a more authentic atmosphere. Butchers' shops, fishmongers, and some vegetable and fruit stalls, like this one, are a sight for sore eyes.

The Parque de San Francisco, bordered on three sides by roaring, fuming traffic, is a haven of peace, except when the resident peacocks are in their mating season. There are a fair number of rare or unusual tree and shrub species, and the flower beds are a delight throughout the year.

I invite you to follow the links through the various Travelogues to get to know the asturian capital better. There isd also a trip through part of the 'megacity'.

And, I hope that in a few years' time the Asturian language will have been granted official recognition so that I can write 'Uviéu' instead of 'Oviedo' without feeling like an alien.

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