One of the incredible things about living in the UK is having the rest of Europe only an Easy Jet (or Ryan Air!) ride away! While at uni I have managed a fair few fantastic little excursions of this sort including two trips to Spain and single trips to Italy and Budapest. Today I’m going to tell you about the most recent: 4 days in Oviedo, Northen Spain, in December.

So why December? I had some payback to do… Two of the aforementioned European jaunts were presents to me from Oli so for Christmas 2012 I wanted to return the favour! And why Oviedo? Well, as I have mentioned before there is nothing quite like taking advantage of friends with foreign connections so when our dear friend Ben moved to Spain for his study year abroad we had to follow him!

The North of Spain is a lot less visited than the South, I guess mostly due to a big difference in the weather, but even in chilly December this area is so worth exploring. I love the feel of major European cities, the smells, sights and sounds, and I found that this isn’t any different in lesser known, smaller cities such as Ovideo and having a rugged coastline only 40 minutes away and mountains a similar distance made this destination even more special.

This is also where I really got into my IPhone photographySo without further a do here are the snapshots of our four days in Northern Spain, all taken with my IPhone 4S.

One thing that struck me about this town was the vibrant colours everywhere. This is one of my favourite images from the trip, taken from Ben’s window looking out over the rooftops and surrounding hills:

The center of town is just as colourful and was made even more beautiful by blue skies after the rain!

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The splashes of colour contrasted so beautifully with the old, medieval feel of the historic buildings:

Wandering the streets was such a great way to spend our first day in the city! I find there is something special about simply wandering without a goal, especially in gorgeous European cities such as this one! In Travels with Charley John Steinbeck writes:

‘In Spanish there is a word for which I can’t find a counterword in English. It is the verb vacilar, present participle vacilando. If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere, but does not greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has direction.’

I think that sums it up quite nicely! (Taken from http://www.lonelyplanet.com/blog/2011/11/09/7-ways-to-experiment-with-travel/)

We also came across some of the most interesting and hilarious examples of graffiti I have seen:

On our second day we took a stroll up the winding paths of Monte Naranco to see the incredible views over Oviedo and the statue of Christ that stands at it’s top:

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The view from the top was really cloudy which is a shame as the surrounding mountains are spectacular. Nonetheless it was a gorgeous, and not too strenuous, 1 hour hike through pretty, populated streets and wild forests.

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The next day we took a bus out to the coast and explored the farmland and cliffs of this dramatic coastline:

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The day was characterised by moody skies but we managed to stay dry! In the image below you can just about see the curtain of angry rain falling over the sea:IMG_0773

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Oviedo was the perfect place to relax, wander, catch up with friends and appreciate a little bit of winter beauty.

Practical Info: We flew from Stanstead to Asturias with EasyJet and then caught a 40 minute bus to Oviedo from the airport. We wanted to hire a car while we were there but as it was the weekend and we were slow at getting up we never managed to catch the car hire shop open! So if you are visiting at the weekend check online first for opening times. Or, do like we did and simply catch a local bus coast bound and wander aimlessly!

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