Oviedo Prelude (3-4 May)

Oviedo became the capital of Asturias in the 9th Century under King Alfonso II who is said to have made the first pilgrimage to Santiago — hence, the designation of the Oviedo to Santiago route as the Camino Primitivo (CP) — the Original Way. It is not the longest route but it is considered the most challenging because of the number of continuous days ascending and descending the mountains of Asturias and eastern Galacia. A plaque near the Cathedral marks the starting point of the CP. I also provided a map diagramming the generally accepted daily stopping points of the CP. Going east to west (right to left on the map), I will be walking more than 220 miles — mostly mountains until the city of Lugo in Galacia.

The Starting Point of the CP
The Route of the CP

King Alfonso II also found several pre-Romanesque churches around Oviedo. These churches are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. I visited three of them – Naranco, Lillo, and Saint Julian. They are simple in design and much of their frescoes no longer exist. Nevertheless, they still stand and are among the oldest surviving churches in Christendom.

Church of Santa Maria del Naranco
Church of San Miguel de Lillo
Church of Saint Julian de Los Prados

Although Oviedo is a bustling modern city, it is steeped in its religious history. The Cross of the Angles is the central symbol in the city’s coat of arms and is the distinctive feature of its flag. Even the tour guides around the cathedral wear lapel pins of that cross.

The Cathedral’s Main Gate
The Cross of Angels
Modern Oviedo

Not to be neglected, I sampled the local artisanal cerveza. Here is my favorite tasted at Conrad’s Bar. Here’s to you Laird as I follow our tradition of having a beer at the end of a day’s walk.

Sacavera Cerveza
Conrad’s Bar

Asturianos are quite proud of their cuisine. I have included images of three dishes that I enjoyed. Sharon will have no difficulty choosing the Fobada (Asturian Stewed Beans) as my number one choice. I love beans! But the Parrochas (Small Fried Sardines) and the Chipirones (Grilled Squid) were delicious as served at the Gato Negro. For fun, find the black cat in the bar scene.

Fobada (Asturian Stewed Beans)
Parrochas (Fried Small Sardines)
Chipirones (Grilled Squid)
Entrance Gato Negro
Find the Cat

My relaxed time in Oviedo ends tomorrow. The mountains await.

Mountains To the West

3 thoughts on “Oviedo Prelude (3-4 May)

  1. I woke up this morning with a tinge of regret that I was not with you on your trek. A spectacular beginning. I found the cat but also discovered some nifty old toys. Looked like my shop sans the booze. Climb on!


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