Hotel Murrieta (60€)
This is a beautiful walk, mostly through vineyards. We have left the Basque country of Navarra and are in the Riojo region of Spain, famed for its wines. Much of today’s walking is gently downhill with small ups. We walk through a bird preserve on the outskirts of Logroño and peacefully enter the city on a pleasant paved path along the Rio Ebro. For once no EA (entrance anxiety) for me. We visit Church #1 and Church #2, and the grand Catedral de Santa Maria from the 14th Century. We enjoy a cappuccino and Coca Cola in an outdoor cafe facing the cathedral and then have a look around the city. We look for a new shirt for Nick and, Hurray!, have immediate success for 5€, perfecto! Next, on to scope the eating scene. Generally, hotels do not offer great food so we decide to scout out the “tapas bars” for which this city is famous. We find the legendary street of tapas, Calle Laurel, and are confused as usual. But it is only 11:30 AM and no one opens until 1:00, so we find our hotel and check in. It is very modern and quite nice; the room has twin beds but they are close together. We clean up and go out in search of lunch. Finally at 1:00, it is “No” on tapas and “Yes” on a fairly upscale restaurant. It proves a great choice. Nick has tiny lamb chops with papas, plus we share a plate of peppers and white beans and drink a wonderful bottle of Tempranillo. Relaxed and satisfied, we lurch off for a nap. Refreshed, we’re up and out to visit more elaborate Gold Churches. I’m not sure why, but we’ve become fans of ecclesiastical architecture. Again we are faced with a quest for dinner and try a tapas place. The fare is OK, but not delicious. We find a heladeria (ice cream venue) for Nick and it’s back to the hotel.