Having done the warm up in Oviedo, it was on to Avilés. A town associated for decades with heavy industry, Avilés turns out to be a surprisingly attractive place. With much of the industry having gone, it is one of these towns that is forced to look to other ways of guaranteeing its future and the response from Avilés to Bilbao's Guggenheim is the Centro Niemayer.
We weren't there for culture though, unless it involved food and drink. Dinner was at Casa Lin, which may sound like a Chinese restaurant but it is in reality very Asturian. An unpretentious place that was recommended to us by some Asturian friends, they served us an impressive seafood platter. It even passed on South of Watford's MEC (Marisco Energy Coefficient), as there were things on the platter that justified the work involved in peeling them. The longaniza de Avilés also got a good reception.
After dinner we spent an enjoyable couple of hours in the town centre, which is where we returned the next morning before moving on. The weather was a bit better than in Oviedo. Avilés has the atmosphere of a "real" place, not affected by tourism. I liked it, a place to go back to.
Our next destination was Gijón, but we decided to spend the middle of the day in the small village of Cudillero further down the coast. The descent into Cudillero is claustrophobic, it's as if the people who founded the village didn't want to be bothered by anyone. Once you're down at the bottom there is a small port area and a few restaurants - just as well because we were looking for lunch. In summer I imagine this place is probably packed, there weren't many parking spaces free on the February day that we went there. The menu of the day in Cudillero turned out to be a bit disappointing, something which is frequently the case these days in touristy places. Anyway, we had places to go and things to eat, so after a short walk by the coast we headed for Gijón.