Monday, October 12, 2009

Last Weekend

OK internet, let's do this thing. I've got a bunch of stuff to bring you guys up to speed on, so I hope to crank out multiple posts here in the next few hours. Last you heard of me I was struggling to figure out the system and get into my classes. That's (pretty much) all sorted out, and I will talk about those at a later time. The weekend after the first week of classes I didn't leave Oviedo, but on Saturday I decided to check out the local museums. The two main museums are the Archaeology Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, guess which one interested me more? Unfortunately the Archaeology Museum is closed indefinitely for renovation, so I had to settle for the Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias. It's located in the old city really close to the Cathedral, so I planned to stop by there too and take a peek inside.
I didn't wake up as early as I wanted to and I had to stop by my bank branch to figure out how to access their website, so by the time I got to the museum I had just over an hour to peruse the collections until they closed for their midday break. This turned out to be just enough time, because the museum really isn't that big. It consists of two palaces that back up to each other, and I unknowingly went into the one that houses most of the modern art. This wasn't as interesting for me, although I did see one of Picasso's later works. The second building was not only more impressive architecturally, but houses all of the paintings from before the 1800's, so I saw a lot of very realistic portraits of various monarchs and nobles. Most of the really old paintings from the 1400's and 1500's were religious in nature, but they were pretty cool too. Anyway, I left as they were closing up shop around 2 and headed over to the Cathedral, but there was another wedding and I again failed to go inside.
Sunday I had intended to go up Monte Naranco to see two ancient churches and take in some panoramic views of the city, but when I woke up it was cloudy and I didn't think the views would be worth the trip. Instead I explored a part of Oviedo that I hadn't been to yet, except accidentally in the back of a mis-guided taxi. This is the area on the other side of the Campo de San Francisco, and I have to say, I like my part of the city better. This neighborhood, which is called Llamaquique, is mostly residential and doesn't have nearly as many cafes and stores as Teatinos, where I'm staying. I had a destination in mind, which you'll see shortly, but I'm gonna break here to include some pictures from along the way.

Pumarín, a neighborhood near mine. Not that there are any boundaries or major distinctions between neighborhoods anyway though; this is pretty representative of most of Oviedo

University of Oviedo School of Mines

Cool apartment/office buildings, unfortunately located right next to the train tracks. You may have seen me refer to these and Tetris Buildings on the face space, which I feel is fitting.

My goal for the day was to visit an architectural marvel that has been under construction in Oviedo for some time now, and as I drew closer to it, to use the bathroom in it. On the site of the old soccer stadium the Ayuntamiento decided to build a huge shopping/hotel/conference center complex officially named the Palacio de Congresos Princesa Letizia, and when it's completed it will also house the regional government of Asturias. The mall, which is located in the basement, basically, is called the Espacio Buenavista, and is very creatively laid out with stores opening onto multi-story chambers with themes like "wind" and "snow". Since it was Sunday nothing was open, but it was kind of cool to explore when it was totally vacant and quiet. Here's a ton of pictures to try to give you an idea of what this place looks like.

Kind of hard to get the whole thing in one picture since it's surrounded by apartment buildings, but you get the idea. There's another wing on the other side out of frame, so it's symmetrical.

Entrance to the mall; very dramatic

Inside, nothing that special as far as malls go. Lots of white though

Now that is one sharp looking bathroom! I like the 70's color scheme . . .

The complex from the back. The elevated part will be the hotel while the big bowl in the middle will house the Asturian (Parliament?) government

Well that pretty much wraps up that weekend. I learned how to ride the bus so that I wouldn't have to walk all the way back to my vivienda from the other side of town, a skill that will serve me well in future excursions to nearby lands that I'm too lazy to walk to. I have to go sign up for a trip to León next weekend, but when I get back I'll write up my adventures this weekend.


  1. Save the Archeology museum for when I visit you! I know it's a long time from now, but it'll be more fun if neither of us has seen it.

  2. You are doing some very cool things. I'm impressed that you are setting daily goals for yourself in order to get what you want accomplished. Next time, get up and go out with the gang--sleeping is for the dead! Aunt Connie