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Report 1969: Five Wonderful Weeks in Northern Spain

By caplanco from Colorado, Fall 2011

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Page 4 of 10: Cedeira and Cudillero

photo by MEC

Sunset in Cediera

It was a lovely drive to Cedeira. Vegetation reminded me of the California coast but greener and more dense. The red/orange tile roofs and light buildings are consistent and pleasing on the hillsides. The drive was easy; only a small section on two-lane, the rest on Autopista. We could not find the hotel, so drove into town and found the “i” where someone did speak English. She gave us directions and some restaurant recommendations. The Hotel Herbeira is just outside of town up on a hill and quite modern. Our room (#203) overlooked the pool and the ocean. Carmen, the owner, speaks excellent English and gave us many recommendations for where to eat and what to do.

Taking one of her suggestions, we went to the typical Gallego Taverna for lunch. Up a set of stone stairs, into a tiny dark bar, up stairs to a tiny dining room, back out and upstairs to the terrace. We shared pimientos stuffed with bonita, egg, and mayo. M had calamari and a cana clara and I had a huge plate of two fried eggs over potatoes and covered with fried Iberico with a glass of wine (€24). Then we walked on the promenade and saw the beach.

That evening we went down and had cava outside, watching the sunset. Then to Taverna do Puntal (Lugar de Cordobelas, s/n ) which had been recommended by Carmen for one of the best meals of the trip so far. We finally had percebes (barnacles) which we’d heard about, and they were addictive. We also shared a good and different tortilla de patatas, and pulpo freia, a specialty of the area. The bread here was also the best, kind of spongy and crusty (€34).

Cudillero

The drive was beautiful with dense forests/hillsides, deep valleys with pockets of red roofed villages. We stopped briefly in Viviero, walked a bit and investigated the Hyper market. Then on to Asturias. The landscape became broader and softer with cliffs on the Atlantic/Cantabrico side and deep valleys on the other. Arrived in Cudillero where it was lunch time and the “amphitheater” area, one restaurant after another, was packed.

La Casona do Pio had been recommended by Carmen and had good reviews on Trip Advisor, so I had called ahead for a reservation (€92/night). It was difficult to find, and I finally got out of the car and walked to where we had seen a sign for the hotel. I finally found my way to the hotel, checked in, and had M bring the car closer to the stairs that we had to walk up. Then he had to park at the marina and walk back, as there is no parking anywhere in town. The hotel is in a refurbished salt factory and has authentic furnishings w/modern bathroom including jets in the tub. The room (#105) was very small and looks out at a stone wall. There was only one electrical outlet.

We walked to the “i” at the marina and got some information, then stopped at one of the umbrella-ed restaurants for lunch. M: fried sardines, clara; Me: ensalada de a la casa which is the standard lettuce, tuna, white asparagus, hard boiled egg, onion and green olives; café solo, agua, and rolls (€19). Music was playing from a shop across the street. Everyone looked quite happy; this is obviously a big tourist spot. After lunch we walked, up, up, up (the town is built into a hill) and then back down and then rested.

We had dinner at one of the several marina restaurants and found that it was a mistake to get the menu de noche because it was too much food, and wasn’t very good. M: seafood soup, grilled lumbago(?) fish; me: salad of warm mushrooms and little shrimp, mixed fry of calamari; wine (€30).

After we got back I saw an article in the Lonely Planet Magazine praising Cudillero. It mentioned that, since the fishing industry was dying, the town chose to build the tourist trade. That it is focused on tourism is evident, and why we found it to be the one place on our trip that we would not go back to.

After a sleepless night in an airless room listening to a mosquito buzzing all night, we decided to change our plans and go to Oviedo rather than to yet another coastal town. We used the Internet to find a hotel and called for a reservation at Hotel Libretto.

As I waited at the foot of the stairs for M to bring the car around, explosions occurred. After my first shock, I noticed that no one seemed upset; turned out that signaled the beginning of a religious procession. People had hung religious banners outside of their windows. As we drove out of town we passed a group of musicians in medieval dress.

We took a side trip to see the cliffs at Cape Video, which are very impressive.

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