A perfect weekend getaway (without “getting away” too far)

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This is a backtrack post as usual, but I’ve been busy,….so cut me a little slack, eh? 🙂 gracias!

February 26- We had a three-day weekend off from work (imagine that) and though it’s usually our habit to get as far away as we can as soon as we have any time, we (Jake and I, and our friend, Jason) decided to keep it a little closer to home and save up money for when the weather gets better, not that it’s anything like the freezing, snowy weather my home state Nebraska is getting, pero bueno… winter cold of any sort always makes you long for spring.

So instead of taking a mondo bus ride (both distance & dinero-wise) to Galicia, a region in northwest Spain (we’ll make it there another time soon I hope) we decided to get to know La Rioja a little better. We are a little limited in our lack of car —aka basically only able to go to places available by bus, but this weekend we were lucky enough convince our Spanish friend, Gabriel (studying here, but originally from Girona, Cataluña) to take us along on a roadtrip to see a few places. So we packed up in his little car and headed first to Clavijo, a tiny village near Logroño that’s home to the ruins of an old castle. I better just let the pictures do the talking on this one.

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Not a bad view. (Castillo de Clavijo)

Next we drove another hour or so to a little pueblo called Arnedillo….beautiful in its own right, we later found, but we initially were drawn by the allure of some natural hot springs we’d heard were nearby. We weren’t disappointed. 🙂

Hot springs in Arnedillo...hanging with the guys.

Ok, I can't take photo credit for this one....this is actually a photo of a previously-unknown location in La Rioja I had stumbled upon while researching the area...and then we found this same picture on a wall in Arnedillo. It was that very place!

This one I can take credit for....we didn't get to see the spectacular view by day, but nighttime was pretty ok I suppose. 🙂

After a fun roadtrip home, talking a fun mix of Spanish/English/Spanglish and later a fun night out with friends, we were feeling pretty “satisfecho.” Next day? Attempt at going to Pamplona, but foiled (what seems like the millionth time) by bus schedules. Plan B? A little mini-trip to the nearby pueblo of Nalda for a return-trip to our favorite caves.

Not a bad perch for a snack with a view.

Then we climbed to the top of the caves for even more picture-taking goodness.

The Fantastic Trio.

And last but not least, that Monday happened to be a holiday, remember, so more time for trips! This time we FINALLY made it to Pamplona. No bulls this time, obviously, but still a fascinating city for sure.

Cafe Iruña-- of Hemmingway fame. Definitely the classiest place I've ever had the pleasure of sipping a cafe con leche.

Pamplona's beautiful town hall, or ayuntamiento

The closest we got to actual bulls: the "encierro" scuplture in Pamplona.

Y está. Be posting more to catch up on the latest adventures, I promise….

Up next: 

-Castle play-day in Olite

-Wonderful week with my Mom and sister

-Reflections on friend departures

…Y más! 🙂 

Besos,

Brianne

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