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The Sidra Museum in Nava

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Sidra has been a big part of our Asturian experience — from learning the art of the Escanciado, to sitting with friends at one of the many sidrerías on Calle Gascona. There’s something grandly social about cider, and we’ve made sure to drink as much as possible.

So it was a given that we’d eventually find our way the Museum of Cider in Nava — smack in the heart of the Comarca de la Sidra. It may not be the best museum I’ve ever seen, but that didn’t preclude it from being a lot of fun.

We were given apples at the entrance desk, which we placed in a crazy Mousetrap like contraption, to see how they’re diced, pressed, fermented and bottled into delicious, alcoholic sidra.
[Coolness Factor: 7 out of 10]

From there, we were introduced to the various machines used throughout the ages for cider production. A bunch of old, wooden devices that look just about how you’d think they’d look.
[Coolness Factor: 4 out of 10]

With high-hopes we entered a room with loud music and flashing lights, and encountered a video about Asturians and their love of cider. A video which was apparently recorded in 1985, if the hairstyles and background music were anything to go by.
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Old woman buying cider at the grocery!
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Mullet dude drinking cider at the bar!
Bowm-chikka-bowm-bowm! Business lady with the cider in her fridge!
[Coolness Factor: 1 out of 10]
[Hilarity Factor: 9 out of 10]

Laughing muscles fully exercised, we now came upon the interactive portion of the museum. A magical bagpipe: “Press here” for flute function! Traditional Asturian games, like “Throw Ball at Screen”, and “Throw Ring at Board”. We spent quite a bit of time here, because we had paid €5 apiece to get into the museum, and damned if we weren’t going to get our money’s worth.
[Coolness Factor: 8 out of 10]

At the end of our tour through the Cider Museum, we were rewarded with a sampling of the drink, and a chance to try and pour it ourselves. I think the girl working there was surprised by my Escanciando Skillz. As I was pouring cider flawlessly into my glass, I gave her a little wink and she fainted dead on the spot.
[Personal Coolness Factor: 10 out of 10]

Honestly, if you want an overview of cider production, you’re better off going to the Gaitero Sidrería in nearby Villaviciosa. But I won’t deny we had a good time in Nava; it’s nice to occasionally visit a museum which is more “fun” than “educative”.

Location of Nava on our Day Trips Map

Sidre Museo
Sidra Bike
Escanciandor
Escanciando
EEUU Aleman Gaiteros
Drunk on Sidra

Asturias Touristic Map

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October 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm Comments (0)

Colombres and the Museum of Emigration

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Looking for a place to stay new Colombres?

At the end of the 19th century, Spain was mired in one of its darkest periods. Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines were gone as a result of the Spanish-American War, and an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Morocco had left the country in a tailspin. Many escaped to the New World, where society was on the rise rather than in decline. This included a massive number of Asturians: mostly single, young and ambitious. They lent their enthusiasm to the growing countries of the Western Hemisphere, and made a fortune doing so.

Colombres Asturias

Many of these newly moneyed youngsters eventually returned home. Known as Indianos, they built fabulous homes and spent their wealth freely, at a time when the Principality desperately needed it. The mansions of the Indianos can be found all over Asturias, but no other town has such a remarkable collection as Colombres, near the border with Cantabria.

One house in Colombres stands out among the rest: the Quinta Guadalupe, constructed by Iñigo Noriega Laso, who emigrated to Mexico and became both extremely rich and politically influential. Today, his amazing mansion is the Museum of Emigration, dedicated to this interesting period in Asturian history. There are emotional photographs of emigrants leaving Spain, models of the boats on which they traveled, personal stories of adventure and danger, and information about the various Centros Asturianos which are still active in Argentina, Cuba, Mexico and the USA.

The museum is interesting, and it’s nice to be able to step inside such a house. Much of the original furniture is still present, and the library is full of tomes dedicated to the immigrant experience. If you’re in the area, definitely stop by.

Location of Colombres on our Day Trips Map

Magnolia Sprout
Water Drip
Bizarre Garden
Quinta Guadalupe
Mexico Asturias
Emmigration Museum
Museo Emmigracion
Detail Asturias
Muebles Asturias
emmigration asturias
Eduardo Urculo New York
Williams B. Arrensberg
Inka
Asturiano Dinero

Visit Stockholm

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October 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm Comment (1)

The Asturian Museum of Fine Arts

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The incredible Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias is smack dab in the middle of Oviedo, just meters away from the Cathedral. Filled with modern and classic works spanning centuries, a visit is indispensable, especially considering the happy fact that it’s free.

Altarpiece-of-Saint-Marine

The museum, which opened in 1980, occupies two of the city’s most important historic buildings: the Palacio de Pedro Velarde, which houses the museum’s classic masterworks, and the Casa de Oviedo-Portal, with a collection of modern art. We recommend starting at the former, through its entrance on Calle Santa Ana, to proceed in a chronologically correct way through the museum’s artwork.

The modern art, with a heavy emphasis on Asturian works, is alright, but the museum’s real treasures are found in the Palacio Velarde. Dalí, Picasso, Sorrolla, Goya and more. We were impressed by El Greco’s series of the Twelve Apostles arranged around a large column, and also liked the massive Altarpiece of Saint Marine, which depicts twelve scenes from her life and six from the Passion.

The museum is a lot bigger than it looks from the outside, and is set to expand even further in the near future, with construction already underway on five additional buildings. Expect to spend a couple hours, to get through all the rooms.

If you have even a passing interest in art, make sure to check out the museum during your stay. Actually, even if you don’t have interest in art, you should go. Should you be so disinterested that a free museum filled with works from Spain’s greatest masters doesn’t entice you, you need to work a little on your cultural awareness, anyway.

Location on our Oviedo Map
Official Website

Wood Monster
Stone Doll
Wood Astronaut
Marbel Angel
Disco Ball Painting
Fine Art Museum Oviedo
Day @ the Beach
Art Critic
Asturian Painter COLORS
Sneak Peek Painting
Museo Bellas Artes Oviedo
El Greco Oviedo
Jesus 3D
Lady Boy
Shadow Fish Painting
praying
Steeling from the Blind
Santa Marine Mirror
Sant Marine

Art in the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid

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September 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm Comments (4)

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