Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why Would You Ever Leave Spain?

My Dad arrived in Logrono Tuesday April 19th, just two days before Semana Santa (Holy Week), and the first thing he told me was how impressed he was with the countryside. That night I took him out to pinxos because it was a Tuesday and I knew the rest of the week would be a mad house. It was still a pretty crowded night but the food was amazing and my dad had a great time. While out we ran into no less than 5 of my friends. Two of the friends, Jesus and Megan, stayed with us and took us out for suckling baby pig, wine and shrimp. As usual I can't express how great the food was. We stayed out till about 12:30 with our last stop being for drinks at my favorite place for drinks, El Mexicano.

The following day we went to Dinastio Vivanco (one of the worlds most famous and best wine museums). It was really interesting to see how important wine is throughout the world and how it has been made throughout history. The museum was huge and we ran out of time. It ended with a glass of wine made by the bodega with the same name as the museum. On our way to the museum we saw three or four castles on mountains surrounding us. We had about an hour before our scheduled time for the museum so we drove up to one. It was really amazing; a castle that was basically just there and right next to it was a cathedral. The cathedral looked as though it was also “just there,” but as we walked up to it was saw the door was open and it was filled with people who were cleaning it for the following day, Semana Santa.

The next day we went to the famous Marques de Riscal bodega which I will be writing an article about for and I will post the link on here later. All I will say about it here is that one of the buildings is designed by Frank Gheri.

The next day was the start of our trip out of Logrono. We started early and drove to nearby Zaragoza where we went to a cathedral that dates back to the 1st or 2nd century. The ceilings are painted by the famous Goya and it was truly an amazing and beautiful sight. Before leaving we also stopped by a castle dating back to the 14th century and the entrance to an even older (by 500 years?) roman wall. Really an amazing view of a history unknown (to me).

Another thing you may notice from the pictures is the strange sight of many men, women and children dressed in what looks like KKK outfits. This is a traditional Spanish celebration for Semana Santa. It really is shocking to see for the first time and it happens every day for the entire holy week. Each day the color of the outfits changes, and they march through the streets all day and all night playing very loud drums and carrying a crucifix.

After Zaragoza we finished our day by returning the rental car in Barcelona; which was a disaster. The rental car place had no signs but luckily the place we stopped for directions happened to be the place where we drop of the car and key. It was a basic parking garage. The person at the window said to park the car on the top floor (4th floor) and bring him the key. We parked the car and walked to the elevator which we quickly learned was not in service. The only option was the staircase. The staircase looked like it had not been cleaned for 20 years, it was really disgusting. We had to cary our bags all the way down the stairs that smelled of pee and looked like a good place for someone to rob us. The doors were not really labeled and we ended up going 2 floors below the floor that we exit at so we had to carry the bags back up. We both ended up with a weird, thick, gray watery substance all over our bags and clothing. It was gross. We spent the next day in Barcelona and now I am on the train on our way to the next destinations; Montpellier, Nice, and Venice. More blogs to come. And plenty of photos to see.

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