Today we checked out of our hotel in San Sebastian, rented a car, and drove off in search of our hill town of Laguardia where we’ll stay in a B&B out in the Rioja wine region in the Spanish Basque area for a couple of nights. We stopped at a mini-mart to pick up some snacks for our road trip…potato chips, salami, sunflower seeds and cookies. Snack time! We had directions printed out but after about half way there, we made one small wrong turn, which got us a bit confused at one point. But luckily there were enough signs that we were able to pretty much feel our way to our destination. The only difference is we ended up taking an off the beaten path road which lead us up and over some VERY tall mountains with lots of tall trees and winding roads, which eventually led us to miles and miles of crops as well. Lots and lots of what looked like leeks! The landscape was amazing! In looking back, it was really the best route we could have chosen, if only for the amazing views.
After many stops to take some pictures, we finally were getting into what was obviously the wine region evident from the never ending vineyards surrounding us. As we neared our destination of Laguardia, we just happened upon a very large winery so we decided to stop in and just have a look around. Oh my gosh, this place was amazing! It had lots of deep caves and dark little nooks and crannies all through it! It was truly beautiful, all lit up by candles and lanterns.
We got back on the road and eventually came to Laguardia, a very old…well ancient…hill town with narrow little pedestrian streets and plazas where the kids play and people sit outside cafes having drinks. The town is only about 3 blocks long with maybe 3 rows of these narrow walkways that tuck in here or there. It is very easy to get lost at first. It was certainly hard to find our little B&B because there are not exactly names on the “streets” and most places are not very well marked. There are a few hotels but you certainly wouldn’t know it. But after we searched for over an hour, we finally spotted the sign to our little place. We were greeted by one of the workers here, Collette, because the owner, “Maria” (a women in her late 60’s), was at work tending to her “bees”. Collette didn’t speak English very well and I was having trouble trying to understand her, but she finally explained the bee situation by saying “bzzzz bzzzzz”, lol. It worked! I then remembered reading that the bees are Maria’s hobby and she really loves gathering the honey and serving it at breakfast to her guests.
Once we were settled into our room and got the wifi set up, we ventured out into the streets in search of a glass of wine and somewhere to just sit and chill. Well…we did this twice, trying another place for our second glass, lol. Actually Joey has been having beer, a Spanish beer that he really loves…Alambra 1864. But once again, more fluffy dogs and their manly owners walking around town! Gotta love Spanish men and their dogs! It was fun to watch the little kids play too. Strange to think kids grow up in little towns like this. After a short walk around the village we went back to our room for our siesta. Joey is really getting a hang of this napping thing! Me, not so much…our room was freezing and I had no clue how to run the heater! Is there a heater? We don’t even know! But somehow at night it’s not so cold anymore.
We finally decide it was time to go find some dinner and being that it was chilly and slightly windy, I didn’t want to walk to far so we pretty much stopped into the first restaurant we could find. It was okay, nothing too special, just a casual little café. They did have a salad on the menu though and as I often do on vacation, I was craving a basic salad. Well, it was pretty basic yet very large, and I ate it all. At least it was fresh and crisp! I also ordered some meatballs and Joey ordered some breaded veal. Both were adequate, though nothing to write home about, ha.