2014 Spring Ani Soghomonian Temple in Spain

Just One More Slice…

Part of the group at La Taberna del Zurdo

…Of bread that is. In the household of mi familia Española, there is loaf of bread sitting on the table with every meal, just staring back at me, daring me to resist it. To say the least, so far its: Ani-0 Bread-50. But…I’m more than willing to accept this defeat. While we’re on the topic of food, I need to tell you about a delicious dinner that Jaime, our program director and go-to man, took us out to last Thursday. The restaurant was called La Taberna del Zurdo. I’m still thinking about all of the delicious food we ate. There were multiple small dishes that the table shared, which is typical of the culture. Unlike the States, dinner is a smaller meal than lunch. Still, by the end of the night I was so stuffed that I’m surprised I didn’t have to be rolled home. The owner Imageand chef of La Taberna del Zurdo is a friend of Jaime’s from when he was in school, and he is going to be the caterer for the world cup in Brazil this year! How cool is that?! Jaime will take us out to dinner one Thursday per month, and I can’t wait to see where we will go next month. By the way, something really different here in Spain is that they eat dinner much later than we do in the U.S. We didn’t eat until about 10 or 10:30 at the restaurant! At home, I eat “early” though, usually around 8:30 or 9.

At La Taberna del Zurdo

Our first Saturday in Oviedo, ESN lead a hike up El Monte Naranco, a mountain which is situated right here in Oviedo. At the top, you will find “El Cristo,” an architecturally beautiful statue that was built in the 60’s. Standing at the top, there is a breathtaking view of Oviedo. It’s crazy to think you can wake up one day and decide “I’m going to climb a mountain today!” It is only about a 30 minute walk from my house to the mountain, which is so convenient! I would never have the opportunity to do that at home in Philadelphia, so it is such a unique opportunity to have. Yet another reason why this is a perfect town. How am I ever going to leave?

El Cristo at the top of El Monte Naranco.

Oviedo has lots of beautiful parks where you can find families spending time together, couples locking arms as they walk in their elegant attire, and others sitting on the bench trying to keep their animated dogs entertained by playing fetch. Let me tell you, I’m pretty sure there are more dogs in this town than there are people. One can argue that the dogs have a better style than I do with their puffy vests and rain jackets. What I noticed the first day we got here, as I was walking to my house, is that they are seldom on leashes.

The correct way to pour sidra. Pouring it this way exposes the drink to oxygen, making the drink taste better.

El Parque San Fransisco, probably my favorite park to go to so far, is located at the heart of the town. Yesterday, I went for a walk there with some friends and saw a peacock wondering around in the grass…what!? I couldn’t believe my eyes. That just goes to show that you never know what you’re going to come across here. Aside from El Parque San Fransisco, la Calle Gasgona is always a good time if you want to enjoy some of the unlimited supply of sidra they have. The street is filled with people late into the night. Even though winters here are pretty mild they have heaters in the outdoor seating areas which I love…warmth=happiness. With so many people, you’d think the streets would be filled with broken glass and trash, right? No, the street cleaning here is unbelievably efficient. I don’t think there is a cleaner city on earth!

As I sit here in my house, I’m listening to the musicians who live upstairs playing their flutes. It’s as if I have my own personal concert every day, and it never gets old. Time to plan out my weekend now!

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