As with most any newbie in a foreign city, I find that I almost always end up getting lost as I try to navigate around Gijón.
Granted I’m also almost always alone, on foot, and without a map – but to my defense the layout and street makers around here do not make it any easier on me!
Here is a map of our lovely city. I’m sure you’ve noticed how close we are to the ocean (a post about the beach here is in the works!). But now direct your attention to the streets and such – especially in the downtown section of the city.
It’s a bunch of craziness, right? Look at all those loopy diagonally-running streets! Now you could understand why an American use to a system of symmetrical city blocks and numerically labeled streets would get
a whole lot tad confused, right?
Moreover, the streets aren’t labeled the way they are in the US (i.e. on big green signs in the middle of the intersection) but rather on small plaques attached to the side of buildings. Can you pick out the street sign of the diagonally running street in my photo? Believe it or not it’s that small white rectangle on the gray building in the foreground…
Thankfully though, little by little I’m becoming orientated in my new city. It also definitely helps to ask for directions (Even if it means asking 4 different people how to get somewhere 5 minutes away from my house… baby steps!)
My ultimate goal is to one day have someone stop ME for directions and be able to both recognize their intended destination and have the knowledge/ability to explain the best route there! Wouldn’t that be an accomplishment? I’ll be sure to write about this when the day comes!
….But maybe you shouldn’t hold your breath 😉