Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Well Wrapped.

And then a mix of the new with the old. Here, a winery we didn't actually visit, with a roof designed to mimic the rolling wave of the mountainside.

And the spaceship that landed in a 16th century village? Frank Gehry's hotel and winery that took a few extra years to finish because the high winds in the region kept trying to tear off the metal roof pieces.

Monday, April 16, 2012

History on history.

Here amidst the early blossoms of a vineyard that was once tended by an order of monks, we wandered about and admired the coastal mountain range in the distance.

Just in case there wasn't enough history in one place, in the same grape fields that the monks watched over is a burial site from pre-Roman times.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rioja Wines.

Oh, and that other thing that Rioja is known for? I guess it's the wine. The valley is set between a coastal mountain range that properly regulates the amount of moisture in the air, and a different mountain range on the south that helps regulate the temperatures from the dry plains, making the region perfect for growing grapes.

Wine tasting tourism is a relatively new concept for the area, but wine making dates back a few hundred years.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Not really a Hostel.

And after about four hours in the car, we came upon our hotel for the weekend.

A former monastery and now a museum, one wing has been converted into a hotel. The building is now surrounded by a small town, but one could see how it would be a very peaceful place for a monk to hang out and pray or whatever it is that monks did.

The view from our window. You can just make out a bit of snow at the top of the valley.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Just a few hours outside of Madrid and off the main highway, and things became, uh, rural very quickly. Not that these guys (and girls) seemed to mind one bit.

We later passed several very large bulls that looked like they could knock our station wagon over if they so desired.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Along the Way.

And so we took the road less traveled, and were rewarded with sights like these:

I'm not sure one would even call it a village, but just a small cluster of houses on the side of a windy road that leads down from one snow dusted mountain and then on to another.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kids These Days

Back once more in Segovia, clearly my favorite day-trip from Madrid. Here, after a fantastic lunch in the famous Meson de Candido, the afternoon sun turns the aqueduct a golden color.

We were lucky enough to have our lunch while looking out the windows directly onto the aqueduct.

The restaurant was built in 1786, a baby compared to the aqueduct, which was built by the Romans sometime in the first or second century.