As my mother likes to put it “Summer is ten minutes long”, and it seems that those ten minutes are almost up. Even though it won’t be officially over until September 21, one can most certainly feel it already fading away, August’s lazy blurry light starting to give way to the much crispier, more nitid September atmosphere. La Liga is finally back, and my beloved Barcelona just scored a whopping 5-0 against Villareal. Oh yeah. Tourists are going back home and I do no longer have to wait 45 minutes in line at the fish monger, or fight my way through the crowded streets downtown, which is relieving. Soon we’ll be able to take the dogs to the beach again, and to have it all for ourselves. Now that’s the description of luxury, if you ask me.
I’ve been trying to enjoy what’s left of the summer as much as I can since classes start back on September 12 (I’m a college student) and fall will come to take away the festive atmosphere that reigns over the estival months. The gent and I are going on a week long trip to Tuscany, of which we’ll hopefully come back all geared up to tackle the back to school frenzy (including appartment hunting – not fun).
Last Thursday my parents and I went on one of the guided hikes the National Park of Picos de Europa offers for free (props to the guide for making it an awesome experience, it almost feels like going with a group of friends except one of them is incredibly knowledgeable about all things mountain related, including flora, fauna, histoical background…). We hiked from the village of Sotres to the summit of Peña Maín, on the Central Massif of the Picos.
Then after toting my camera all the way up, the battery died before I could capture the view of the sea behind the mountain range. Bummer. It didn’t bother me all that much though; it’s hard to get upset when surrounded by so much beauty. And it was a little cloudy anyway, as you can see, so it wasn’t as impressive as it would be had the sky been clear.
Saturday morning we were hungry for more, so we went to the Pienzu, a nice leisurely hike well suited for those not used to doing a lot of walking, easy but very rewarding.
Also during the weekend one of the best festivals of the summer took place: the Mercáu de Porrúa (traditional market held yearly in the little village of Porrúa) where dozens of artisans of very diverse trades set little stalls to show their craft, along with many food stalls offering our typical delicacies, live music and juggling performances. Porrúa is a small town of only 400, but they’ve managed to put together – throught their cultural association, El Llacín – a wonderful event that draws in 20,000+ people each year, which is pretty amazing. We woke up Sunday morning to beautiful weather and blue skies, which was perfect for my picture taking purposes since the crowds would probably be enjoying what might be their last day at the beach. Porrúa is a little over 2 miles away from Llanes, so walking seemed a better idea than taking the car.
Once there, we started wandering through and snapping away. There was weaving and spinning…
All kinds of handmade objects… (although many of the artisans had a no picture policy after having issues with people copying their designs…)
Even a “pimp my bike” sorta thing.
Bagpipe playing and dancing…
Including some funny fellas…
And animals that little kids could ride.
Then on the food department, there were lots of different embutidos:
Picadillo to go on tortos or into a sandwich:
And you know it wouldn’t be Asturias without all those cheeses…
There was café de pote, which is coffee made by boiling it in water and then straining it through a cheesecloth before serving.
And also traditional cider making:
Grilled sardines were pretty popular too.
But most of the action was going on at the parrilla (barbecue grill) where the costillas (ribs) were cooking and smoking away:
Not to forget the boroña preñada, a very dense (even fudgy) cornbread filled with embutidos. Utter deliciousness.
So all in all, a very fun festival that I come back to year after year. And I think that’s pretty much it for now. I’ll be back after my trip with a Tuscan treats galore post
So what are you doing to take advantage of the last days of summer?