|On Friday morning, September 22 we are dropped in the town of Villamayor de Monjardin. Waiting to be headed in the right direction I take photos of the Romanesque-style church of San Andres built in the 17th century with a singe bell tower. Standing above the small village is remains of the castle San Estaban one of the fortress capitals of long ago. Do to the many wars and inhabitants of Spain,one driving out the other and then another following after that, it seems that many of the structure have multiple histories also. Documenting the layers of history on some structures takes pages and then you're still not sure who some of these civilizations were??? So I will spare you the history on each and every building we include a photo of.
As we entered La Rioja Alavesa region, known for their wine, we passed through many vineyards as well as small weekend garden plots. We stopped along the way to talk with a man harvesting grapes from his small plot and he offered us some of his grapes. Small and sweet we eat them along the way.
We came to a huge wall of straw. Don't ask me how they stacked it that high or how they will unstack it. We passed through olive groves before we arrive in Los Arcos and take a brief look at the church of Santa Maria de los Arcos.
Friday was a short distance day 12.3KM = about 7.5 miles. There is an afternoon cultural excusion planned in LaGuardia, a town fortified by walls in the 13th century during the reign of Sancho the Strong (you saw a photo of his tomb in Roncevalles). We toured the Iglesia of Santa Maria de los Reyes and then had some time to wander around on our own.
Robert and I visited a couple shops, a little bakery where we bought macaroons and a flaky fig pastry, and we stopped in a little bar for a beer (Robert has discovered beer with lemon) and we order a tapa consisting of olives, anchovies and onion.
On the way to LaGuardia we drove by Bodegas YSIOS. The modern structure was designed by Santiago Calatrava. The undulating roof line was to mimic the waves of grape vines on the rolling hills. We later find out that Jeromy's Project Management professor at Northwestern used the constuction of this building as lecture material. If you would like to learn more about YSIOS and see some great photos go to http://www.arcspace.com/architects/calatrava/wine/index.htm
That afternoon we purchased a bottle of YSIOS wine for our evening consumption at Hotel Villa De Laguardia. Once at the hotel we chatted with a Jaguar driver in town for a promotional tour introducing the new XKR model. It looked sleek and fast as a Jaguar should with no signs of Ford influence.