After yesterday’s disastrous weather day we’re on the move again with barely the need to unpack. We leave Cangis de Onis headed for Gijion and our next base for 3 nights, Oviedo as we continue to move along Northern Spain.
Gijón is the Asturias’ largest city and produces iron, steel and chemicals, and is the main loading terminal for Asturian coal, but don’t be fooled by its industrial core its pedestrianised streets, parks and seafront walks along a huge beach present a lively and vibrant city. On arrival, we head for the old town which is concentrated on the headland, Cimadevilla, the old fisherfolk quarter. We headed specifically for an Eduardo Chilida sculpture entitled, Elogio del Horizonte, a 10 metre high, 500 ton piece made of reinforced concrete. It’s name translates to Praise of the Horizon and with its welcoming arms and its solid body, the sculpture seems to want to catch anything that flies along the horizon and bring it into the safety of its embrace. Situated high above the city in splendid isolation it’s a beautiful blue sky day to admire another of Chillida’s magnificent sculptures.
The rain arrives and it’s time to depart from Gijion. It’s been brief but beautiful. The rain may have driven us away from Gijion but it’s not going to spoil our next stop. We’re off to visit a museum just outside Oviedo that’s dedicated to the whole of the professional life of the Asturian born racing driver, Fernando Alonso. The museum houses over 300 personal items, including the first-ever kart he drove when he was 3 years old to all the single-seater’s he’s driven in F1 excluding of course his current Aston Martin team car. In addition, there’s the Toyota he drove when he won Le Mans, the Toyota he drove for the Paris-Dakar rally along with his Indy 500 car. The array of cars is just dazzling, especially the Ferraris which to me contain their own uniquely special aura. Alongside the magnificent display of race cars are Alonso’s trophies, driving helmets and overalls. In addition, he has a large collection of F1 competitors helmets including those of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton together with many many others. It’s a brilliant museum and well worth a visit to take a walk through the incredible career of Spain’s most successful racing driver.
We hit the road at a sensible speed and head to our hotel nestled in the soft hills above Oviedo where we’ll be based for the next 3 nights.