Six friends from Riga landed in Barcelona to continue the journey to the North of Spain. Of course we couldn’t miss the beauty of Antonio Gaudi’s work (I finally visited La Pedrera) and walk around this charming city. Barcelona was more crowded than I experienced it on the previous trips so I would suggest traveling there in the off-season. The Northern part (La Rioja and Basque Country) of Spain is excellent destination if you look for less touristic places, enjoy delicious food and fantastic landscapes. My favourite part of the trip was the Flysch hiking trail from Zumaia to Deba (La Ruta del Flysch) in Basque Country. The grand finale of this trip was a crazy fun day at the Batalla del Vino (wine fight) in Haro.
See and read the full story below!
Time to go to La Rioja, Logroño, my Spanish hometown. What’s the reason why we went there? 12 years ago I went on Erasmus to Logroño, came back there a few times. This city is known for the great food and wines. The first place I wanted to show my friends was La Calle del Laurel – the street of tapas. I had been talking about champignon tapas for several years so this was the big moment to introduce my favourite tapa to my friends 🙂 They fell in love 🙂 A lot of nostalgia. If nostalgia defines as a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time, I succeed to rewrite this file and it’s not that former anymore. A mix of past, present, future. Hasta pronto, my dear Rioja.
The following days we visited the nearby villages and wineries of La Rioja and Basque Country – Haro (the winery of R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia), ElCiego (the spectacular hotel of Marques de Riscal), Laguardia. Thanks to our fantastic host Ilze we got the most out of this beautiful region of Spain.
San Sebastián (Donostia) is a chic basque city by the coast of the Bay of Biscay. After enjoying coffee, hot chocolate and cakes at Belgrad coffe house we strolled along the Concha beach promenade. It was a quiet day until we participated in a turtle drag race (a toy one, no real animals involved) at the Monte Igueldo Amusement park. As the result of this attraction we got a new friend – a minion (see the picture of Kristaps below), who was happy to join our company.
The following day was quite relaxing and we walked from Zarautz to Getaria. We had an idea to surf when we planned this trip but surfing would had taken a lot of physical strength so we decided to go easy that day. The place we can suggest is the Getaria’s fish restaurant Asador Mayflower. When I called them they were fully booked for the lunch time but we came back for the dinner and had a fantastic seafood. And we guess that it was Lance Armstrong sitting to the next table 🙂 By the way, Getaria is the birth town of Cristóbal Balenciaga and there is a museum dedicated to the great fashion designer.
The Flysch hiking trail from Zumaia to Deba is the best one I’ve been on. In low tide you can see interesting geological formations and cliffs by the coastline. The route takes trough kind of fairy tale forests, up and down the hills and meeting some cows and bulls (now we have an experience how to walk around a bull which is resting on your path). Some parts of the route coincide with the Northern Camino de Santiago.
If we were in Basque Country we couldn’t miss visiting Bilbao and Guggenheim Museum with the great exhibition of Louise Bourgeois.
I am super grateful to have such an amazing company for this trip. Thank you, friends!