Sunday 20 September 2015
Woke early and escaped into the brilliant morning and freshly washed streets to drink many cups of coffee and write. Before 10 am a Spanish city is dead. All of the shops are closed. The cars are still parked. The bars are dark and heavily grilled. As my dear Mother in Law used to say, you cant be Jack at night and Jill in the morning. If you are lucky, you will round a corner and find a bakery, windows packed with cakes of a substantial nature and cups of foaming, milky café con leche. And you can think that this would be your life, if you were just brave enough to cut with everything you know and cast off on an unknown sea. Psoriasis has virtually cleared up. I am allergic to normal.
Back to hotel and dug Oh out of his pit and went for breakfast on the prom. The beach at Gijon is a long ellipse with a wide promenade and faced by a myriad of shops, bars and restaurants. We took a large bag of UK newspapers with us, dating back at least a year, and which we hadn't got around to reading. There was drumming somewhere and the wail of bagpipes. We ate croissants and crank coffee and the baby at the next table smiled and waved her arms and legs like a sea anemone.
The drumming came closer and it was a procession. At the head were children, wearing gross caracture heads in papier mâché, followed by the drummers and gaitas (Asturian pipers) and the tail end consisted of 50 or so people on vespas. A conflicting procession of small girls arrived from the opposite direction and there was a general mêlée.
We joined the paseo and walked a couple of kms before stopping and reading most of the rest of the papers and then we walked on around the head of the bay. 5750 metres in total. Most people only go as far as the Lady of the Sea - another sculpture dedicated to the lost at sea. At the far, far end was an angular sculpture like the prow of a great ship emerging from the green hill. We climbed to the top and then, conscious that it was nearly 4 pm and everything would be closing, found a bus and went back into town. Everything was closed to back to hotel for r n r. Out later and OH had uncharacteristically remembered the name of the sea food bar which he had seen yesterday - the Galastur. We roamed the sector until we found it.
A small bar, a Sidreria (cider bar), and we had a stupendous sea food platter of little squid (chipirones), large squid (calamares), large crevettes (langoustinos), potatoes with paprika and octopus (pulpo). Washed down with two bottles of Asturian Cider.
On coming out of the bar and we were strolling along and I was looking at the shops as we went and OH suddenly asked if I knew where we were and, being a woman with no sense of direction, of course I had none whatsoever. So I looked at the map and we seemed to have walked off it so we set back in the direction from which we had just come and OH had the map and wasn't looking at it and wouldn't give it back to me. I stopped two ladies who said we needed to head off at 90 degrees (otherwise we would have been going up and down that road all night). We emerged at a place we did recognise and collapsed to bed.