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#95474 - 07/27/17 07:19 AM Returning to Spain, again n S
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
Mrs. 44 and I will be arriving in Spain for a nearly three week visit beginning in early September, si dios permite. Very much looking forward to visiting old favorites and some new places. Starting in Madrid and headed north to La Rioja and then San Sebastián before moving west to Oviedo, to Penafiel and back to Madrid. Hope to share some of the experiences along the way.

Saludos.

44
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#95475 - 07/27/17 01:26 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
Good you all. Enjoy the trip. Those are good choice areas. I will be there too but in August.....
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#95478 - 07/27/17 08:20 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
Two ships passing in the night! I may drive across the border into France a short distance. From San Sebastián, there are a few things that interest me on the French side but not sure if I will have time.
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#95480 - 07/28/17 12:53 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
well time is up to you ::) but the area San Sebastian to France I have ridden many times and its beautiful scenery of the Pyrénées on the N 1 !!! plus the Basques! I am afraid putting pictures here is hard but if go to my blog and type on search hendaye you will see plenty
enjoy it
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#95492 - 08/06/17 09:54 AM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
Thanks for the reference. I will see your photos there.

I have less than a month to wait before departure. Actually, have some things packed already because very busy with work leading up to this trip.

Saludos!
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admiral44
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#95495 - 08/08/17 01:31 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
ok I am on my way there Friday morning early...go to Pau and then continue Saturday to arrive in Cuenca, Castilla La Mancha of Don Quijote!

You have a good vacation and do enjoy Spain as well as maybe take a bite out of France ::) Not a bad 1-2 combination lol!
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#95542 - 09/10/17 03:50 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
Roaming about Spain now. Having a marvelous time. Crossed into France for half a day which was interesting and fun. Still on the road! Will report more soon.
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#95544 - 09/11/17 01:10 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
ahh there you are . Glad all is going well, and indeed the road is was great. I came back last August 28th. awesome trip thru the Castilla's and crossed in on the Pourtalet peak and came back on the Somport tunnel.

Enjoy the rest and do report back. Cheers


Edited by pedmar (09/11/17 01:11 PM)
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#95545 - 09/12/17 02:26 AM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
robbieroy Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Scotland
Enjoy your trip. Looking forward to an update.
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#95556 - 09/20/17 06:42 AM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
To begin the journey, we had an excellent flight from PHL to MAD. I remember this flight always being around 7.5 hours. However, favourable winds reduced travel time to about 6.5 this time. Cabin staff did a great job and we touched down smoothly arriving at Terminal 4S.

It's quite a long walk from 4S all the way out. Thankfully, we are in good condition. Train to Terminal 4. There we took advantage of a business centre that offers rooms and showers with a snack. This was a great way to freshen up after a longish flight.

Collected the rental car, which was ready and waiting, then drove to La Rioja. Along the N-111 the scenery is quite impressive between Soria and Logroño, with interesting glacial formations. Some medieval bridges there as well for those keenly aware of the history.

Arrived La Rioja for a late lunch in Elciego then on to a little hotel in Ábalos.

More to follow soon.
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admiral44
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#95559 - 09/21/17 06:50 AM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
We spent several nights in Ábalos, staying first at a winery and then at a small hotel in town. Both were excellent. The tour of the winery, by the owner, and then later tasting the wine with himself and the family was a fun and interesting experience. Chatting with the family was a test of my rudimentary Spanish, but helped improve it as well.

We spent a day in Haro, tasting wine, having a great lunch, and walking about. Sadly, the restaurant I wanted to dine in was closed. Well, another reason to return in the future.

Visited the little towns dotting the hills of La Rioja. Each one has a highlight. Laguardia stands out as do the villages nearby. They're getting an impressive food scene in this area. Hope it lasts.

Drove to Logroño for a tapas supper on the famous street there. Food was good if a bit harried. Easy parking nearby.

More to come.
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admiral44
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#95560 - 09/21/17 01:51 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
It happens all the time, we plan and when there either close or no time. There is always next time indeed.

That is a very good wine area, the best known in Spain. thanks for the update always good to read about Spain ::)
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#95563 - 09/21/17 04:37 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
Pedmar,

The wine in La Rioja is, indeed, very good. The best part about being in a particular region is you have the option of enjoying all the different wines that may not be available in your home country or even home town. As mentioned , the place we stayed had their own wines and then the second hotel, the owner there had his own wine as well. Plus, at the restaurants they have particular relationships with local producers. Only wish I had more time and could try more wines. All good.

We did learn about the changing tastes of the customer, how the younger wines are now favoured, or at least trending that way. And less white from La Rioja then in the old days. But I like the white wine from La Rioja.

Anyway, on we go.
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admiral44
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#95570 - 09/25/17 12:46 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
After several days in La Rioja, and having enough wine to float a battleship, we drove north, going to Olite to see the castle there. Very nice old town and the castle has been restored to a beautiful condition. Visitor are permitted to walk to the highest towers and the view is marvelous.

For lunch we ate at what in the USA would be considered a "truck stop." I like to try these places while driving in Spain because they are filled with regular, working folks, and often times the food is a good value. This place was spot on. Great food really for 11 Euros menu of the day including the big bottle of water, wine, and dessert. People watching her fun, too. Spoke with a few drivers who were headed to Madrid.

From there we drove to San Sebastián and will post about that next.

Saludos.
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admiral44
www.bentpage.wordpress.com
www.danielputkowski.com

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#95580 - 10/03/17 01:08 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
Seems like a good trip, glad you enjoy it. all these places are nice, I love castles Olite included
Cheers

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#95589 - 10/07/17 02:01 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
admiral44 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Philadelphia, Aruba DWI
We arrived in San Sebastian, where I spent a big part of my budget for a very nice hotel. It was worth it. Excellent room. Good location. We walked into the old part of town to do the epic pinxtos thing there. I have to say, it was very very good food. Very creative some of the places. Also has a unique vibe. (Secretly, however, I prefer Cava Baja in Madrid). We sampled tapas and pinxtos at many places as well as some wine and other drinks. It was a bit chilly so the beach area was limited to some hardcore surfer types.

The next morning we drove across to Hendaye, France, and checked out the Chateau d'Abbadia. Interesting place built by a chap in the mid 1800's. He had his own telescope and made many observations. Great view from his cliffside castle, too. Was good to cross the border, hear another language, and see a few things.

Returned to San Sebastian for more food pleasure. And good sleep at the fancy hotel.
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admiral44
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www.danielputkowski.com

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#95597 - 10/11/17 01:26 PM Re: Returning to Spain, again n S [Re: admiral44]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
San Sebastian is great , good of you to visit it. Hendaye well is one of my routes into France especially when vacation with the family in Lacanau , Médoc, Bordeaux region.

Enjoy the trip; mine are on hold until the New Year.
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