Reflections on a museum

Noel reflects
Originally uploaded by StripeyAnne

The wonderful thing about being in a new country is finding things for the first time.

We were staying in Oviedo with John and, while he took himself off to work, we went to the coast. It seems strange to head north for a coast, but with the help of a map and limited navigational skills, we finally made it out of Oviedo on the second try, taking in some delightful suburbs and narrow windy roads on the way.

The map had a small camera and equivalent of a smiley face and thumbs-up sign for the northern-most pointy bit, the lighthouse at Penas, so that was our destination. The sun lagged behind and we plunged into a sea fret. What with that and the gorse and rocky cliffs it was massively reminiscent of east coast near Flamborough.

Now we were in Spain and woefully inadequate in the language, so weren't really expecting to go into any museums. But the Medio Marino de Penas had facilities which we were in dire need of. And to get that far, you had to go through the turnstiles. But at one euro each, it wasn't going to break the bank.

I don't think they get many English visitors there, the lady who greeted us in very good English was thrilled to welcome Loiners. She made a note of our home town, handily brandished on my Flickr badge, and handed us a leaflet in English, so in we went.

As a Yorkshire lass it's easy to identify with the Asturian part of Spain. The people are Asturian first, then Spanish. It's buffeted from the rest of the country by the sea to the north and mountains to the south. It's called the green coast – the previous blog shows why! So this little museum was thoughtfully put together by people proud of their heritage and respectful of the sea which provides their livelihood and, unfortunately, takes it away in horrific storms..

There are five rooms; lighthouses, shipwrecks and storms, including realistic sight, sound and wind effects. the Cape Penas sea, sea life, which includes dolphins, whales, giant squid and octopus and finally a window on Gozon, this local region of Asturias.

The museum is small, its floor is glass over panels of sand and sea life. So the final room takes up that theme with a vengeance. Photos of Asturian goodies, back-lit and reflected with the help of a mirrored floor and ceiling. We were followed in by a group of schoolchildren who, like kids everywhere, had a very low boredom threshold. But they were fascinated by this room. It kept them quiet for all of two minutes!

Outside the view was stunning – when the fret lifted, and so like Flamborough. Steep cliffs, rocky platforms and friable rock. Nothing to climb here…

It looked like a sculpture trail was near completion – now they don't have THAT at Scarbough. Interesting, and it will help bring more visitors to the centre. I quite like sculpture, but am more fascinated with the natural world. As we looked at one rusty structure, eagle-eyed Noel managed to avoid stepping on a beautiful wild orchid. I know which I prefer!

Today's lovely thing
Looking at the photos to remind me of a lovely long weekend


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