Monday, September 3, 2012

My Trip to the North of Spain, Part 2. La Rioja.

The main goals for the trip to the north was to see quite a bit of Asturias and Pais Vasco. There are so many interesting places to visit, but after all, one can not see them all, so these two were picked out. 

But on the way up to Asturias we decided that we wanted to do an overnight stop somewhere, and we found out that la Rioja would be a good place to do so. After all, who doesn’t want to aprovechar some Rioja wine and some tasty tapas / pinxos?


Another reason for picking la Rioja/Logroño was that I had recently found the blog Memoirs of a Young Adventuress, (about an American girl, Elizabeth, living in Logroño, the capital of the autonomous community of la Rioja) and in one of her posts, she mentioned that it wasn't really too hot up there. Perfectly hot daytime, but more chilly at night. It sounded perefct, cause Barcelona was scorching hot those days. 

Hah! Never in my life have I experienced more heat than that day and night in Logroño!!! See, that same day a heatwave with hot hot HOT air from Africa blew over Spain. It was seriously like standing in front of a giant stove in action. And the wind was like a hairdryer at full speed. Gosh! Seriously uncomfortable. 

One street termometer told me it was 


but the wind made it feel even worse. And it's not like 40 isn't already heavy stuff. 

Anyway, Elizabeth posts ”Pinxo of the week” on her blog and I had taken notice of some of the ones I though sounded particularly spectacular just in case we’d pass by. So when we decided to sleep one night in La Rioja, it just seemed very convenient to do so in Logroño, and actually use those tips! It was great, cause the whole pinxo-experience in Logroño became really goal-orientated and a complete sucsess. Thank you so much, girl! The pinxos & the wine were indeed spectacular and I will write a post of its own about that. 
Although I might not have seen all that much of Logroño itself, (a part from the inside of quite a few pinxo-bars) there is a beautiful cathedral, like so many other Spanish cities! 


La Rioja, as one can imagine, is full of wineries and I really enjoyed driving through la Rioja, with vineyards as far as the eye could see.




We also made it to a guided tour at one of the bigger wineries, Marques de Riscal. (Also after a tip from Elizabeth's blog, thank you again!) Great experience, and we got to taste two of their wines at the end, a red Rioja Reserva, and a white Rueda Verdejo. Both splendid wines. A future post about this visit will come as well!

We also made it to a couple villages, first Haro. A beautiful little village, said to be the capital of the Rioja-wine-production. (Well, many of the bodegas of important Rioja wines are located here.)






 Another beautiful old stony village was Laguardia


 With some curious art:



All in all, nothing but wonderful experiences in la Rioja. I love how you, in la Rioja, get a delicious glass of wine from €1.50, where as in Barcelona you basically (normally) get a crappy wine for that same price. Many of the less fancy bars here in Bcn, doesn't have a whole lot of wines to choose from and you might get the one that cost less than a euro a bottle in the shops if you get "el vino de la casa". In Rioja, and also in Pais Vasco, the wine you were served was always really good quality wine, and at a great price-quelity ratio. Thumbs up!

14 comments:

  1. Wow, wonderful pictures! And I love to drink Rioja! So delicious! Thank you so much for sharing! I love all your wonderful posts. It is so great to learn more about Spain and Norway!

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  2. Spain is seriously cool (er, HOT). I'm going to have to try and make it over to Spain whilst I am in the UK. ;D

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    1. Hehe, cool (&HOT!) and you definitely have to make it down here!

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  3. Jeg skjønner at jeg må ta meg en tur til Spania:-) Jeg skjønner også at jeg må ta et fotokurs hos deg; du tar virkelig fantstiske bilder!!!

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    1. Ja, det synes jeg at du trygt kan gjøre :) ta turen til Spania altså. Og tusen takk for komplimentet!! Du er da så snill :)

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  4. Laguardia så fantastisk ut. Et perfekt sted for et heftig kjærlighetseventyr tenker nå jeg! ;)

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    1. Ja det var litt magisk, -gammelt og vakkert og full av stemning :)

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  5. A delicious glass of Rioja for only €1.50, beautiful scenery and tapas! Sounds like heaven! :)

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    1. Pretty close to heaven! Think I have to go back there :)

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  6. That's the great thing about small(er) towns = cheap, good wine. (It's not the only thing, but it sure doesn't hurt!)

    Can't wait to visit La Rioja someday!

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    1. La Rioja was truly beautiful. In Barcelona unfortunately, cheap wine does not normally equal good wine.. Then again, compared to Norway it's still crazy cheap to get a good glass of wine at a bar for €3 :)

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  7. Thanks for the shout out! So glad you liked it! I love living in La Rioja. you got to see some of the best places! marqués de riscal and laguardia! it was so hot those few days, but normally it's really nice. It's been pants and sweater weather here for the past week! Come back soon and we have to meet :)

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    1. Thank you yourself, it really was so helpful to use your tips! And it's thanks to you I got myself to Marques de Riscal (GREAT wine!) ...and those pinxos...my goodness! It's very tempting to go back, indeed!

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