The Principality of Asturias in northwest Spain was part of the larger Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages. We docked in the largest city in Asturias, Xixón (Gijon), which gave us an opportunity over two days to explore the region and the city.
“Through the rebellion of Henry II of Castile in the 14th century, the Principality of Asturias was established… After its integration into the Kingdom of Spain, Asturias provided the Spanish court with high-ranking aristocrats and played an important role in the colonization of America. Since 1388, the heir to the Castilian (later Spanish) throne has been styled Prince of Asturias. In the 16th century, the population reached 100,000 for the first time, and within another century that number would double due to the arrival of American corn… During the 18th century, Asturias was one of the centres of the Spanish Enlightenment… Asturias played an important part in the events that led up to the Spanish Civil War.” – Wikipedia
We drove about 40 minutes to the small fishing town of Lastres (population 1,200) to see a program started recently to assist two experienced fishing net weavers and menders expand their business by offering training to other locals and to encourage tourism to view the fishing pier and learn about the use of nets and their mending.
From Lastres we drove to the historic hillside village of Tazones. We had the opportunity to explore and shop in the village before heading to Restaurante Carols V to sample some local specialties.
The Asturias region is well known for their local sidras (apple cider) which is bottled like beer.
Traditionally sidra (cider) is served in small clear glasses which are only partially filled by the server who pours the sidra from way above the glass (see photograph, below) — a custom reminiscent of how hot mint tea is poured in Morocco.
In addition to some excellent local sausages, we finished our late afternoon snack with some delicious local blue cheese served with membrillo.