My name is Samantha, and I'm not an alcoholic
The Picos de Europa are a little mountain range in eastern Asturias (pico means beak, and also peak) that I would like to be hiking through but I don't really have time and I'll be doing plenty of hiking very soon. I'm pretty sure Congas de Onís is not one of the highlights of the Picos, but it worked for me because it's easy to get to. It feels touristy even in September and you need a car to get to the good hikes. But still, it's in the mountains and I took a nice long walk by the Rio Sellas, passing little farms with cute houses and horses and cows and sheep.
So, cider (sidra, en español). The restraint that Spanish people show towards alcohol amazes me. A Spanish person will go into a bar, order a beer, drink half of it, and then leave. It's partly a cost thing, I guess: Alcohol is cheap here. (Beer is often cheaper than water or soda.) But it's also a cultural thing. I really don't think I have a drinking problem. But where I come from, if you've paid for alcohol, you drink it. If you're given alcohol you pretty much drink it. To do otherwise is alcohol abuse. I don't even think that's funny, but it's ingrained.
One of my favorite memories from living in Spain was going to a Basque cider house outside of San Sebastián back in April. My current trip through Asturias has been almost nothing like that Basque adventure, but I have drunk a lot of cider. They make it here (there are apple trees all over Asturias), it's really popular, it's really good, and I've had it for lunch and dinner every day that I've been here in Asturias. Which is where the restraint thing comes in (or doesn't, I guess). When you order cider here they bring you a whole big bottle, about the size of a bottle of wine. Cider has less alcohol than wine, but more than beer, and a whole big bottle is more than I need, especially in the middle of the afternoon. But once they put the open bottle on the table, well... I've been drinking a lot of cider. Is it possible that it's good for me? It is made with apples....
Oh, and I'm on a quest. It's good to have goals, and one of my current ones is to like blue cheese. People who like blue cheese really like blue cheese. It brings them joy, and I feel a little left out. I wanna feel the joy, too. But it's not working. When I eat blue cheese it still tastes like feet.