A friend of ours said to us a couple months ago, “You know it rains a lot here…that’s how everything stays so green.” We nodded in agreement, as that is what we had heard, even before we moved to Gijón. When we arrived in May, it rained a bit, but never for more than two days, and usually the sun came out. This kept up through summer, though often it did not rain for multiple days in a row, so we thought, “this rain thing is no big deal.” Into early fall, still, not a ton of rain, though it did occur on our trip to Cantabria, but not until we enjoyed a lot of sunshine.
Well, this past week the rain started…and has not stopped. For eight straight days, it has rained. On day three, we went and bought rain coats. Today we saw the sun peak through occasionally through the dark clouds, and then the rain would stop, before starting again. A bonus of doing a lot of walking during rainstorms are rainbows, which are frequent and give a little bit of hope as we walk the wet streets, watching out for dog poop, careful when stepping on slippery metal grates, and keeping the umbrella from hitting everyone else’s umbrella on narrow streets (this is a learned skill I am putting on my resume).
A couple weeks ago a friend took us on a day hike on the Senda de Oso, which is the Bear trail. There are bears, but are behind a fence (phew). The ground was wet with rain from the previous day, and the river that flowed nearby was quite full. We were able to get in a nine mile walk, including a short coffee break, with little more than a light drizzle at times. Due to the possibility of rain the walking traffic on the trail was pretty light, so we were able to enjoy each other’s company and the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Alas, we saw no bears. Maybe next time. On the way back though? It down-poured. We arrived (and left) at just the right time. (The last picture is Jesse and our friend Diana).
Coming to Gijón from Southern California, we knew the rain would be an adjustment; but it is one thing to know an adjustment is coming, and another when it actually arrives. But eight straight days? This is getting kind of ridiculous. Last Saturday, on the way to a friend’s birthday party, which was only a ten minute walk away, we had to take cover from a hailstorm which, once it finished, looked like snow on the ground. It was crazy. This was the second time in three days it hailed. Fun stuff.
Yesterday we took the streets because, finally, there was not rain in the forecast. We walked as far as we could, all over town, and then proceeded to take a night walk to Cimavilla, which is the old town in Gijón, on a small peninsula, with amazing views of San Lorenzo Beach and the Cantabrian Sea. At the height of the peninsula is a large park, and on the edge is a huge statue created by the artist Chilida, named Elogio del Horizonte. It is cool to stand in the middle and the sounds of the sea sound quite strange. During most days there are people and tourists taking photos, especially on nice days. But on rainy days it is usually empty, and we need our flashlight to follow the path to the statue (and also to avoid huge puddles). It also provides for some cool, spooky, photos.
Today the weather report said we had a window of two hours of no rain so we headed out as quick as we could, in order to get some sun. That weather report was wrong, but while we were rained on, we also saw the sun in bursts and a pretty rainbow, so, all in all, a good day. I took the below picture near our place, and it sums up the day well; a peaking of blue sky, ominous grey clouds, wet ground, and greenery. Winter in Gijón is upon us.