While only a little ways from Laguardia, Logroño is the capital city of La Rioja, an autonomous community of Spain. Logroño is the center of the Rioja wine trade and a stop on the Camino de Santiago (The way of Saint James) pilgrimage route.
The statue of General Espartero at El Espolón. The statue was erected in
1895. General Espartero (1793-1879) was also a politician, who became a symbol
of liberalism in Spain.
We had spent the day touring Laguardia and participating in a Rioja Wine Tour. As our hotel was in Logroño we had returned there for some evening shopping and dining. Walking towards the old town we were getting exceptionally hungry. While there was still plenty of light, the sun was getting lower in the sky and we knew dusk would be arriving soon. It was too early for the restaurants to open so we looked for a wine bar or ice cream shop that might be serving, holding out some hope we might find something hot.
Plaza del Mercado - This old market place is nowadays the center of night
My wife immediately headed for the shops, knowing they would be closing around 8:00 PM. I wanted to get some photographs of the old town but we were tired and the light was starting to fade. I am certain, I took a few photos before joining my wife in browsing the shops.
Finally, we stumbled upon some outside seating at a bar serving sandwiches and tapas. I opted for a sandwich, which turned out not to be one of the best I have had in Spain but it did take care of my hunger.
Our long day was catching up with us, tired we headed back towards the hotel. Rather than retracing our steps we opted for the short cut and I directed my wife in what I though was the right general direction. Foolishly, I thought I would recognize, in the dark, the street the hotel was on. At first it seemed as if I had made the right decision but we were now in darkness, and after a while it seemed like we had walked too far. Could we have possibly crossed the road I had been looking for and be totally lost. Coming to a main street but seeing no signs, I believe we had found the street of our hotel but which way do I turn, left or right? We turn left. My wife starts to insist I ask someone for directions. Being a man, well ...I decided to take her advice. Spying a young woman playing a video game on her cell phone, I ask her, in very bad Spanish, the direction for our hotel. Anxious to be of help, and responding in English, she strove to recall the correct words, and instructed us to go back the way we had come (back at the intersection we should have turned right). Our encounter with this Spanish lady left us with good feelings about the Logroño people . Reversing our direction, with just a short walk, we were back to our hotel.
Photo left - Calle Ruavieja in downtown Logroño. The street is part of the famous
"Camino de Santiago". Calle Ruavieja leads from Puente de Piedra to Iglesia de
As we walked around Logroño, before making it to the central district, we were surprised by the number of stares we drew from residents. Maybe we drew the stares because we were off the regular tourist path for the community or maybe non European tourists are not that common in Logroño. Perhaps they were the stares of "you must be lost, can I help you?", what ever the reason, we did feel slightly uncomfortable walking around Logroño. Though, to be clear, we saw no indicators of hostility or anyone targeting us for theft, and as I indicate above, when I did approach a local she seemed ecstatic at being able to use her English and be of help.
Visit near by Laguardia and learn more about the Rioja Wine Tour we took.
Check out Logroño's Cathedral
Learn more about Logroño's San Mateo wine festival