Tuesday, December 20, 2011



The ongoing building work taking place at our house has prevented me from blogging over the course of this last week, but things are finally coming to an end, so hopefully I can get back to normality.

Anyway, the answer to my last teaser was a king called Pelayo (you can find out more about him here - asturiasguide.com/Covadonga-pelayo.html.)

In short he was the leader who started the fight back against the muslims in the north of Spain and he is celebrated in festivals, with statues etc. Probably the best statue of him is at Covadonga next to an impressive church in the hills near the start of the Picos de Europa. There is a photo of it on the page linked to above.

This weeks question is a seasonal one.
Santa Claus and many other things that we do and celebrate in the UK and the USA are particular to us (and of course the Germans and Austrians), however in may other countries things are different and Spain is one example.

So, my question is based around the opening of what we call Christmas presents which tend, in Britain at least, to be opened on Christmas Day. In Spain the equivalent to Christmas present are opened on a different day. So my question is:

Which day is it and what is the significance of this day?
I want the date and the reason behind that date, i.e. its significance.
Have a Good Christmas.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Picos de Europa

The answer to the last post is the Picos de Europa mountain range that runs through the inland part of Asturias, particularly the eastern section. It is quite a sight and, once you escape the industrial parts of Asturias, the scenery is nothing short of breathtaking.

There is also a lot of history connected with this part of Spain. It was never conquered by the Islamic Moors and it was from Cavadonga and Cangas de Onis that the Reconquista (re-conquest) of Spain was started. The Spanish (probably Visigoths back then) were greatly out numbered, but they defeated the muslims and this was the start of a 700 year long quest to rid Spain of Islam and take control back of their own country. Obviously they were successful.

Numerous festivals celebrate this event, a number of them in some quite brilliant ways, however to describe these would no doubt breach political correctness here in britain.

At the inception of what was to become the Reconquista, a now famous king led a group of soldiers, farmers and fishermen into battle against the moors and my question for this week is:

What is the name of this king?
There are numerous statues of him, one at the stunning monastery at Cavadonga where he is said to be interned. (This is definitely a place worth visiting if you spend any time in Asturias).

Briefly back to the UK and I am amazed at how little news coverage the London Olympics seems to be getting – not that I am complaining. However it is unusual that it is not continually mentioned on the TV and in the press when it is so close. It just makes you wonder if we are about to make an enormous cock up of it and therefore the powers that be are trying to keep the lowest profile possible

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