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    • Day 18

      Rioja Region

      October 15 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Heute stand der Tag mal ganz im Zeichen des Rioja‘s. Heißt - nach dem Frühstück ging es zuerst einmal zu den hiesigen (in Haro) Bodegas zwecks Verköstigung. Verwunderlich ist, dass man hier nur „per Glas“ probieren kann, mitunter gut eingeschenkt. Angesichts von Preisen von 26€ pro 10-15cl Rioja Grand Reserva (v. Muga, Jahrgang 2015) überlegt man dann schon Was, Wieviel und wo man etwas probiert.
      Probiert haben wir 2 Weiße (gingen so) und später auf dem Weg zum heutigen Stellplatz nochmal 3 Rote (trocken, zu Fassbetont).
      Der Weißwein zum Essen ist auch nicht besonders hervorzuheben. Apropos Essen; da uns heute der Sinn weder nach Tapas noch Pulpo war, haben wir uns eine kleines Restaurant in Laguardia gesucht. Im übrigen ist Laguardia sehr beeindruckend; zumindest die Altstadt. Klein, verwinkelte Gassen und eine Tapas Bar nach der anderen.
      Leider mussten wir aber dann doch weiter, gen Bardenas Reales; eine Art Halbwüste… schauen wir mal wie es morgen aussieht, der Stellplatz ist jedenfalls schon mal staubig.
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    • Day 19


      July 8 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

      Heute mit mieser Laune aufgestanden. Das Heimweh plagt mich. Nach den vielen Geburtstagswünschen und Telefon gespächen gings dann besser. Habe dann ein paar Degustationen gemacht, danach war die welt wieder in Ordnung. Essen und Wein einkaufen war für heute abend auch noch auf dem Plan. Den rest vom Tag geniesse ich mit dem "dulce ociosidad"Read more

    • Day 18


      July 7 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Lerma habe ich hinter mir gelassen und nochmals so richtig günstig vollgetankt. Die Passstrasse führt 25 Km durch eine Schlucht. Immer rechts der Fluss, links die Felsen, unheimlich schön. Die engste Passage konnte ich leider nicht fotografieren, war zu gefährlich mit Gegenverkehr. Laut Wetterbericht sollte es gewittern. Aber nix da, keine gratis Autowäsche.Read more

    • Day 11

      Tapas & Wein 2

      August 22, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Hier zu wohnen wäre tödlich für mich: alle paar Meter eine Bar mit so guten wie preiswertem Wein und phantastischen Tapas und Pintxos. Dazu sitzen die Menschen bis spät in der Nacht zusammen, essen, trinken und lachen...gut für die Seele, schlecht für die Linie.Read more

    • Day 7

      Day 7- Exploring the Rioja Region

      August 19, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      The Hotel Teatrisso is nestled in the village of Cuzcurrita, on the banks of the River Tiron. Cuzcurrita is the town Hollywood would create for the ideal Spanish village. It has a cathedral, a Roman bridge, two plazas, a castle, vineyards, tree-lined paths, and of course the river running through it all, and maybe 1000 people. When we arrived late yesterday afternoon half of them appeared to be drinking wine in the bigger of the the two plazas. Amazingly, that plaza has a single bar, which is part of the town hall building, making it very easy to get a glass of crianza while paying your parking ticket.

      The Teatrisso is the nicest place that we have stayed so far, a former palacio converted into a boutique hotel with an art and music theme. Our room is decked out in classic blues and jazz posters. After checking in we headed to the plaza for a meal and some cribbage —the one thing the town lacks!

      After traveling for a week logistics caught up with us; it’s August in Europe and it took a bit longer than expected to find a pet friendly accommodation for the next leg of our trip in Segovia. Task completed, we headed into nearby Haro to sample some wine and local culture. Haro is the capital of the La Rioja región, known worldwide for its wines. There are bodegas (wineries) everywhere, and it seems that you can visit all of them. Many of their visitor centers are quite sophisticated, like Napa.

      After Haro we toured a few ancient villages along a beautiful skyline of mountain ridges. As we did so we compiled the following hard-won wisdom on how to visit an unknown Spanish pueblo.

      1) Identify the plaza in front of the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) since everything springs from this prime location. In 90% of cases, it’s called the Plaza de España, Plaza de Constitución or Plaza Mayor; identifiable by the four flags flying from the second floor windows: EU, Spain, province, city.
      2) Locate a legal parking spot😉 In Spain, one is allowed great latitude in this determination.
      3) If you are hungry, locate the bar or restaurant with the greatest number of people eating (an important indicator of kitchen skill, some restaurants are really just watering holes!) Order a caña (small beer) or cafe con leche in your best Spanish!
      4) Sit back and absorb the ambiance. Each town has its own pulse and feel. Relax and let it wash over you.

      The winner of today’s meandering was the walled medieval town of Laguardia, nestled on a hill beneath the mountains. It was a beautiful day and the first time we have been able to enjoy driving in the convertible together. We also stumbled upon a 6000 year old dolmen which Paul decided to lie down in so that he could channel the energy of his Neolithic ancestors.

      We topped off the day back in Cuzcurrita, with a picnic in the banks of the River Tirón. At sunset the entire town, which is made of yellow stone, comes ablaze. The only way to legitimately douse the fire is with a glass of Tirón, the local label, in the plaza. Now you know where we are headed for the cribbage rematch.
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    • Day 15

      La Rioja day

      June 9, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Up and away early from Pamplona to navigate the city before the traffic built up. Then out over vast plains and valleys that reminded us of our trip up from Valencia after the volcano.
      The campsite in Haro was packed. Big family groups and kids everywhere. Then we discovered today is a holiday - day of the Rioja . As it's a Sunday, tomorrow is a holiday too. However we found a great spot and settled in. Life administration, laundry and research. Then as the fridge was bare and the supermarkets closed we walked into town and wandered the narrow streets eating pintxos and drinking red wine from the local bodegas. Best mushrooms we have ever eaten.
      They have a festival here at the end of May where everyone throws red wine over each other...
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    • Day 16

      Vine vine pilgrim pilgrim vine vine

      June 10, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Was a bit overcast and drizzly when we woke up - and we were a bit overcast and drizzly after our Rioja fest last night - so for penance we went on a long hilly bike ride. Out into the empty vineyards in the hills around Haro and reached our lunch stop in Nájera which is also a stop on the pilgrim route. Astounded again at the numbers and physical state of folk walking this to prove their faith. Well at least if you're on the pilgrim route you can guarantee a few open cafés.
      The sun came out for our return journey as we left the walking throngs and headed back into the empty hills with the vines stretching off to the distant mountains. A suprise monastery on our return journey, with open doors and peaceful gardens was a lovely stop.
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    • Day 17

      Where roosters crow after being roasted

      June 11, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Set off along a rather overgrown bike path to a town called St Domingo de la Calzada. Legend has it that a German boy was hanged here for a theft he didn't commit. His parents came to find him still alive (miracle). They went to tell the mayor, who said that the boy was as alive as the roast chicken on his plate. Promptly the chicken sat up and crowed (miracle).
      In the cathedral they keep a live hen and rooster in a gilded cage. They change them every 15 days.
      The cathedral was fascinating, with all sorts of artefacts and tombs dating back as far as the 11th century. We spent ages in there with an audioguide, and consequently missed a huge downpour (miracle). Oh and we had cracking egg and chips in a local hostelry that was full of hikers and bikers on the Camino route.. Great route home with lovely mountain views. Went via some of the bodegas on the way to have a look about. Bit too posh for us in our biking gear...
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