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Archive for January, 2014

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have you heard of oviedo?

the beautiful city of northern spain known to be one of the cleanest places, not only in spain, but all of europe.

oviedo, capital of the principality of asturias, is a 30 minute drive from gijon –seaport and largest city of asturias/great surfing destination- and aviles, the industrial city of the principality. all three constitute the three most important cities of asturias. amazing landscapes with natural beauty, green mountains and the atlantic ocean is what you will witness when visiting this amazing part of northern spain. the principality of asturias contains most of the territory that was part of the kingdom of asturias

in the middle ages.                          .in the heart of oviedo lies the cathedral.

 

easy to go around by foot, oviedo, is filled with parks and squares, often decorated with various monuments. in the center of the capital of asturias, lies the old town. beautiful.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                             

“el pais de los quesos” –land of the cheese.

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asturias has many regional products to offer, dairy being the main one. the asturian dairy products are found all throughout spain.
enjoy them to their fullest visiting tierra astur. you can find it in all three oviedo/gijon/aviles and have an amazing meal combining all the asturian products. if you enjoy live music and dancing, try visiting the fourth tierra astur restaurant, 5 minutes bus from oviedo, in colloto on a thursday and experience the “espicha”.

standing around a long table getting a full course brought to you and have unlimited access to the sidra barrels that casually lie next to you! meanwhile, some live music is going on and there is enough space for people to start dancing after they are done with dinner.

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this is the main street where you can try sidra, the typical drink that is served in a very specific way by the waiters! you can give it a try yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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el cristo del naranco

if you visit oviedo you have to get to see this statue. its position offers a nice glimpse of the city from above!

 

 

 

 

 

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although oviedo is a small city you will get pleasantly surprised by its nightlife. come weekend, walking through the old town by night is not an easy thing to do, due to the amount of people going out! you can party until the sun comes out! it is amazing how in such a small place the nightlife is so intense!

 

 

 

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do visit oviedo. green, well preserved and pretty. it is really worth seeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…this is exactly how you feel on the bus, on the streets, in the parks, and in the bars around a stadium before a big game. this is what atlético de madrid, real madrid, fc barcelona, and other teams from the spanish teams have in common: a loyal supporter base that will follow them everywhere, that will sing their songs, that will cheer and shout and cry, that will wear their club’s colours with pride.

it was the ‘eve hours’ of one of the biggest football events of the 2013-14 calendar: atlético was receiving barça in the vicente calderon stadium, in madrid. granted, this was not ‘el clasico’ (real vs barça) but the two teams had finished the first half of the season at the top, with an equal number of points, so the stakes were high. words like ‘potentially decisive game’ and ‘title-defining’ were being used, bets were being placed, the coaches’ choices of 11s were being discussed.

so it is easy to understand why the crowds of supporters started gathering round the stadium well before the kick-off. it seems like vicente calderon is strategically located on the river banks, so that the ‘waves’ of the incoming supporters are easy to spot. atlético’s supporters are everywhere you look, and they are all, old and young, men and women, well proud of posing with their t-shirts, caps, flags and scarves. they are noisy, but not uncontrollable (perhaps since, in this case, the two rivals have one common enemy, which is real madrid), they are in this way carrying on the tradition of their club.

regardless of the result, the supporters of both teams are there for the game, for that first whistle and the last, for the shouts following an unfair decision, for the goals, for that perfect snapshot of their favourite player, for the atmosphere. and the atmosphere starts outside the stadium hours before the players go on the pitch; in a sense the game starts on the streets when the supporters gather for a drink and a song.

 

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one hour before the game, nearby the vicente calderon stadium

 

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you don’t have to ask them twice for a photo

 

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the streets near the stadium are filled with flags and scarves, for a last pre-game purchase

 

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girl helping her dad get his gear on… like father, like daughter!

 

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different generations, one love!

 

this moment is as unmissable as the game itself, there truly cannot be one without the other. for atletico, not having the streets filled with ‘rojiblancos’ (the ‘red and white’, from the club’s colours) prior to a match in vicente calderon would be the same as playing in a stadium without supporters: bare, quiet, and unfulfilling.

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when you think of mallorca, you think of the sun, beaches, sand, blue waters, and the heat heat heat. yet if you “dare” to visit the island any time between the end of january and the middle of february, you’ll have the chance to witness an amazing natural phenomenon: the blossoming of the almond trees in mallorca.

it is at this time of the year that mallorca becomes a paradise for painters, writers, photographers, artists who get inspired by this wonderful show of nature! if you´re into nature and photography, and have been looking for that perfect spanish self-made souvenir, then go hiking, biking or walking along the almond fields in mallorca, or take a train ride on the old sóller railway for some picture-perfect views.

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almendros en flor + from mallorca es asi tambien

painting by santiago rusiñol – almendros en flor en mallorca (1902), and the inspiration

 

the thought of an entire almond blossom island is truly romantic and ethereal. the thousands of almond trees have been reportedly planted by an arab king for his scandinavian-born love who missed her snowy homeland, what could be more romantic than that?

more pragmatically, it was probably the romans, who took it from the greek, who introduced the cultivation of almonds in the balearic archipelago. yet even in the greek mythology, the almond tree has a magical romantic story.

the beautiful princess phyllis was transformed by the gods into a leafless and bare tree after she had her heart broken by her fiancée, who left her at the altar. when the fiancée returned, he wept at the sight of such a sad tree that used to be his beautiful love. his tears turned into the beautiful almond trees that now cover many mediterranean regions.

from theory4 and flicktickr2009 from anieto2k and canalviajes

 

spain is the second largest producer of almonds, grown all over the mediterranean region, and are the base for favourite spanish sweets like the turrón and the marzipan.

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traditional turrón and marzipan figures

 

the almond blossoms cover mallorca at the perfect time to represent the new year and a new beginning, a rebirth, a sign of prosperity and good hopes for what the year will bring along!

 

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salamanca, the biggest student city in spain, is an old small city full with beautiful buildings, fun atmosphere, and good vibe. the nature is so wonderful that it is just a pleasure to walk around and feel the relaxing atmousphere.

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also, its nightlife is more than fun because of its huge variety of bars and clubs with free entrance! however, it is not only for young generation because there are many kind of places for every needs and likes, either pushy or casual look.

the plan for the night is ready, so let’s think about during the day. we suggest to enjoy sightseeing in a very unique way; through treasure hunt!
perhaps there are many people who have no idea what we are talking about. you can enjoy salamanca sightseeing by trying to find some hidden items here and there. let’s have a closer and quick look on three of the most popular and well known hidden carvings.

 

1. the frog on a scalp, the most famous icon of the city
this hidden icon is decorated on a wall of salamanca university. however, it is extremely hard to find the frog by yourself because the wall is very detailed and there are many monuments. have a try first by yourself to find it! even if the attempt is not successful, don’t worry; there are many people all looking up searching and pointing it so you can just ask someone to show you.

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can you see it now? the frog is very small, but it is said that if you can find it by your own, you will have a good luck, or if you are a student, you will graduate successfully.

 

2. the astronaut
the second famous hidden carving in salamanca is the astronaut, which you can find somewhere on the new part of cathedral. it is huge and also very detailed so you can find it easily. the photo below shows the side of the cathedral where you should look at.

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during the re-establish of the cathedral, they put this astronaut icon as a symbol of 20th century. also you can see that the astronaut’s face is slightly different from the the first edition one.

 

3. gargoyle devil with an ice-cream
just next to the astronaut you can find a very cute hidden curving; devile with ice-cream. how playful are salamanca people!!

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there are many more hidden icons, as you can see on the post card below. we just did the first three ones, but we will give you an opportunity to have fun searching the rest by yourself while exploring the beautifulness of salamanca!

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