Jay and I like to joke (later on) about how many ups and downs we have each day/week here in our new life. Sometimes it happens while walking down just one street! We start out walking down Calle Portales and are just in awe of how pretty the cathedral looks lit up at night. It’s beautiful and old and we remember how lucky we are to be surrounded by such rich history! Music from street musicians fills the air and we continue walking along next to smiling, laughing Spaniards enjoying their late night drinks, arms wrapped around each other in the cold. Finally, we reach our destination: a small shop with a kitchen item we need. And it’s CLOSED! Why?! Other shops are still open! How will we get through the weekend without said kitchen item?! We can’t go tomorrow because everything is closed on Sunday! I hate Spain! Why is it so difficult to get used to living here?!! …This all happens in the span of five minutes. Sometimes it’s exhausting.
Today was one of those days. We planned to go to Haro, a village outside of Logroño known for it’s wine production, to visit a bodega and finally have a tour in English! We would learn so much! …Then we missed our bus. We were at the station on time but got confused with which one we should be on (many reasons behind that) and it left without us. After trying to gripe at the bus attendant who obviously couldn’t bring our bus back, the only thing to do was change our bus time. But the next bus wasn’t until the start time of our wine tour. What can ya do?
We returned home to wait and called SIX different wineries in Haro asking if they has a later tour time, and not one of them did. But we were rolling with the punches! We decided we would still go to have lunch and a look around, and would stop by a couple wineries to just have a taste without the tour.
We had such a wonderful time at lunch. Our friend Kat recommended we find Plaza de la Paz to eat because there are some great restaurants, and she was right! We each had a menú del día which is a three-course meal including bread and our own bottle of wine for a set price. The food was delicious! We had patatas a la riojana and paella de mariscos for appetizers and pollo asado and pavo relleno con jamón y queso for the main course! We had a nice view of the plaza and enjoyed people watching while we finished off the wine and ordered arroz con leche for dessert. We took our time in the typical Spanish fashion and drew it out as long as we could before it started to get cold! Since we didn’t really have a a plan for the day we decided to wander up to the church to see the views of the town.
Then we stumbled into what seemed like the Haro projects. Suddenly the town was vacant and we were wandering through cold alleyways trying to find our way to the bridge that crosses the river leading to many of the town’s bodegas. First we headed to Bodegas Muga, which is huge. We came in to the wine bar and tried their blanco y crianza with no problems except a swarm of fruit flies trying to dive into our glasses. They were both tasty! But we had a feeling the others would start closing, so we headed off to the next.
Bodegas Lopez de Heredia was at the top of Jay’s list to try, and when he spoke with the receptionist over the phone she said we could stop by for a tasting. However, when we arrived there was a tour group waiting to go in and then no one else around. It was a super awkward vibe complete with people staring, so we rushed out and walked around looking at the buildings. We tried to find another to taste, it just didn’t happen. We passed two more and although their business hours said they were open there was no one in sight. We chose a couple to walk around but in the end it just felt creepy and deserted! The area is pretty, but it felt like a ghost town. We decided we should make it back to the bus stop before it got dark.
Isn’t it funny how the smallest things can change your mood or outlook? Seemingly insignificant details can be game changers. How else can hundreds of people visit the same place and each person takeaway something unique? The same person could visit the same place twice and have a different experience each time, because so many factors are in play.
A small change in today’s sequence could have changed our whole impression of Haro. If we would have made our bus, we would have made it to our tour. But if we would have made it on time, I would have missed my interview… Which I’ll tell you more about next time. If we would have cut lunch short, maybe we could have seen more wineries, but wouldn’t have had the experience that made our lunch the best part of the day. If we didn’t linger trying to find another winery open, we wouldn’t have been wandering around in the creepy areas of the city so late. And so on, and so on. Even with what I think are just simple day trips, things happen and throw me for a loop. We just gotta roll with the punches! There were great moments today and those are what matter. I’ll remember the pretty views and how humorous it is that we were creeped out by a little city.