La Rioja: The Ski Town of Ezcaray

This past weekend was Spain´s December puente–aka a long weekend–because of a holiday falls on Monday. Last year, we traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland. This year we wanted to keep it more low-key and decided to stay around Logroño. The weather was awful: cold, wet, and windy which meant I was inside being productive for most of the weekend! However, Monday we had plans to drive out to the village of Ezcaray with friends.

I had been wanting to visit Ezcaray all of last year! It´s unique because it´s close to the mountains and connects to La Rioja´s skiing area, Val de Ezcaray. I have never in my life been skiing, and that wasn´t the purpose of our trip. It´s been so “warm” in La Rioja this December that there wasn´t even snow!

After a hilarious detour toward Burgos, we finally made it to Ezcaray, about one hour from Logroño. The village was full of people, as it was a holiday. It was a crisp, sunny day when we arrived so I gladly went around snapping photos during our paseo.

Seems very Basque, doesn´t it? After an initial look around, we started our ruta de pintxos. We compiled the necessary bote to share. I had a delicious alcachofa rellena (artichoke stuffed with onions and tuna) that I never, ever  would have tried just over a year ago. I´m really broadening my foodie horizons! We went on for calamares, fried tomato/zuchinni and goat chees, and another stuffed artichoke.

It was nice to treat ourselves to nicer wines that we usually order, a requirement if you´re hanging out with a group of Riojanos! House white and red won´t cut it.

After we ate, the weather went south. It began to drizzle and the wind picked up, so we ducked into a cozy bar, Troika, to relax on the couches and order a drink. We ended up ordering the most ridiculous drinks possible: giant milkshakes, coffee with Bailey´s, gin and tonic, and mojitos.

It´s so nice to spend the day on Spanish time. Nowhere to rush to and enjoying the day in the street with friends! Next up, we stopped on the way back to Logroño at the medieval market in Santo Domingo. Post coming soon!