At the top of the year, I told myself that I would travel more. I have the opportunity to roam freely and easily while I am living in Europe, but the last couple of months I haven’t been taking advantage of it. I decided, two trips every month if I can afford it; one being inside España and the other one will be outside of España. The first city of the New Year was Oviedo, Espana, home of rolling hills and the infamous drink Sidra, like my name.
So, off I went, taking an ASLA bus at the crack of dawn to arrive there early morning. The trip was roughly six hours and rough it was. Halfway into the trip, I was awakened by the swerve of the bus trying to get back on track because the snow from the blizzard that we found ourselves in was covering, presumably black ice. “ I could’ve sworn Google weather said it would be slightly cold with a chance of rain! Not a full on 'The Mountains between Us' blizzard.” All I could think to do at that moment was to be extra grateful for the heat that was blasting on the bus because I thought it would be another 5 hours before I felt this again. Luckily, after I went to sleep and woke up again, I recognized we had reached Oviedo, Asturias and it was only mild rain with the crisp autumn weather. There was nothing to be worried about. Shoes on, scarf and jacket snug and off I went to find breakfast.
At a traditional Spanish bar is where I found myself conversing with an elderly gentleman that was patient enough to listen to my broken Spanish. So, for an hour I engaged in a conversation about politics in my country and how I was enjoying my life in Madrid as best as I could. He was very charming, a little too affectionate, but overall, a very endearing gentleman who actually wanted to tag along. However, I politely suggested that that might not be the best thing. Between my fast pace walk, the seven-hour time frame I had within the city, and his cane, the combination would’ve left me only having seen the trees that aligned the one street we would’ve managed to make it down. “Maybe next time, Sir,” I said.
After breakfast, I took my time exploring the city, but my goal was to see the beautiful hills and snow-capped mountains that are divinely placed as the city's backdrop. I just wanted to breathe, think and have a moment with Jesus while soaking up this beautiful aesthetic landscape. There was an overlook of the mountains maybe three miles from where I was. So, I decided that I would see this first while there was still daylight while taking advantage of exploring antique buildings and churches on the way such as :
Cathedral de Oviedo
Escultura de Woody Allen (not a fan of his… for obvious reasons)
Basilica de San Juan El Real
Museo de Bella Artes
Jardin de los Reyes Caudillos
Exterior de la Plaza del Fontán
Detalle de La Gorda de Botero
El viajero- El regreso de Williams B Arrensberg
Having seen a good amount of architecture and sights including the mountains and hills, I had built an appetite for tapas and Sidra, the drink. Por fin! When I stepped into another traditional Spanish bar, the first thing I ordered was just that.
Me: Puedo tomar Sidra por favor porque mi nombre es Sidra. *Geekishly Laughs
Translation: Can I have Sidra please because my name is Sidra? *Geekishly Laughs
By the dry look on his face either he wasn’t impressed, didn't believe me, or possibly wasn't paying attention. Who knows, just give me the drink, please. And right then and there I was experiencing the best way to enjoy the drink based on what I’ve seen on posters plastered in metro stations in Madrid and what people have told me; A man pouring this cider pressed beverage from above his head into a glass for me. From that experience alone I was even more excited to see how this might taste. My expectations were high and taste buds ready to do The Flamenco, finally savoring what some people have been raving about. However, when the cider hit my tongue, a look of concern paired with squinted eyes came upon my face.
Without saying anything distasteful about this classic drink, I will leave it at this:
Me gusta el nombre de la bebida mas que la bebida.
Translation: I like the name of the drink more than the drink.