Sometimes when you live in the city, or anywhere for that matter, it becomes easy for one to establish an unchanging, rigid routine. I noticed that I had grown accustomed to my own routine of going to class, studying and doing homework, and visiting new cafes and bars, but hadn’t really seen all of Spain’s natural beauty. I thought to myself recently, “Wow. I should see what’s beyond the City’s borders.” And so, I did.
Oviedo is located in the principality of Asturias, the northern most region of Spain home to beautiful mountains and scenic oceans. As we approach Spring and Oviedo’s unpredictable rainy weather continues to warm up with more sunny days, a group of friends and I decided to explore Asturias’ wonders by hiking la Ruta de las Xanax—a trail that scales one of the nearby mountains just 30 minutes shy outside the bounds of Oviedo.
We began our hike climbing a steep road, which led to the entrance of the hike marked by a warped sign and large map of the route. The winding, stone-paved trail sported fantastic, and at times scary, views that directed your eyes downward from the edge of the cliffs to the bottom where a small stream raged forward. For the first half of the trail, we hiked at unimaginable altitudes with a relatively small distance between the path and the edge of the cliff.
After stopping along the stream to eat our packed lunch, we continued along the trail that led into the forest and away from the cliffs. This long, muddy path led us to grand pastures with horses, goats, and an old wooden bridge that led us straight to a secluded pueblo (town). It had been three-and-a-half hours of pure hiking, so we stopped at the pueblo, which was the final destination on the hike, and soaked in the beauty of the mountainside. The views seemed like something straight out of a movie or book cover, and the air was clean and crisp.
On our climb back to the beginning of the trail, we all collectively talked about how inspired we were by the natural surroundings, how excited we were to have gotten away from the hustle and bustle of the City, and to how great it was to have gotten in touch with nature. We concluded our trip with a quick stop at the one and only café to grab a quick snack, which gave us the little pick-me-up we all needed after 6 hours of climbing up and down hills.
If there is one thing I learned from this experience, it is to try new things and be willing to break your routine! I don’t necessarily identify as a super outdoorsy person, but I had a blast hiking! I enjoyed my time so much that I hope to go on and visit the rest of Asturias’ natural beauties.