Logrono, Soria and the Rioja
After viewing the magnificent architecture of the Guggenheim we set off for Logrono, taking the scenic route off the highway we cruised past towering red and ochre sheer cliffs rising from the heavily wooded forests below. Perfect for abseiling! The terracotta roofs and stone houses stud the landscape creating a perfect Spanish scene. More mountains and the weather is slightly humid, as yet no sign of autumn here. As we drive on solar and wind farms dot the rolling hills and the land becomes flatter, resembling the classic plains in Spain.
Logrono is developing a reputation as a gourmet destination in Calle Laurel. Everyone stands around small bar tables drinking and eating pintxos and tapas. Each café has its own speciality. Along with 2 stunning cathedrals – St James the Great and Cathedral de Santiago. Inside and out they are elaborate and full of gold and religious paintings. Visiting these churches at night you can see they are the centre of community life with people gathering inside and out after mass even though it is after 8.00pm.
In the Rioja we visit 2 magnificent wineries. The architecture of these buildings is breathtaking. Costing more than 85 million Euros! Marques de Risel was designed by Frank Gehry the Gugg guy. Ribbons of aluminium sweep around the building, reflecting pinks, purples and copper tones shining from the sun, We had a delicious coffee on the balcony. This is a very stylish hotel indeed as well as a winery. The other was Ysios winery with a wave like roofline reflecting the rugged stoney mountains behind it. The building is further reflected in shallow pools of water which run the length of the building. We were too early for a wine tasting.
Onto Soria through more rugged outcrops and wooded forests, jagged scree slope scar the woods. In Soria we were greeted by a festival for the Virgin to celebrate the Autumn harvest, people we out in the thousands, all ages eating and drinking obviously no work today. The evening sees a procession of an illuminated statue of the Virgin carried solemnly through the streets accompanied by a band and people following. I think everyone in Soria was there. Lunch was out in the open under trees with tablecloths and cloth napkins delicious food and rioja wine.
Pictures will come later when I get this G*D damn awful wordpress to work!