Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Pinheiro's tour - Day 4 - A trip through Spain as it should be

This morning began somewhat dubiously for me, revisiting the snail stew from the day before. But not to be deterred, we checked out of our charming Bed and Breakfast and headed over to Alquezar, a town of just 100 permanent residence, but thanks to rural tourism over the last decades one that can grow to over 15 times that amount at certain times. This is impressive, since most people still couldn't find it on a map of Spain. Alquezar is, nonetheless, one of those towns that's filled with more legends and folklore than you could possibly take in, especially in just one morning.

 Unfortunately one morning is all we had, as our schedule called for us to be in Basque Country by evening. We met our guide at the tourist office for a walking tour of the history and legends of the town. It was fascinating to learn about the town, and particularly to see how the details can really bring the legends to life. Details like the chimneys (the "Witch-scarers"), or the overpasses that at one point connected the entire town, which without a guide would have passed unnoticed.  After an hour and a half exploring the town, we decided to head up and take the scenic route to Hondarribia.  The road that leads there passes through some spectacular scenery, along mountains, winding roads along the lake with picturesque little villages dotting the green hillsides.

Taking advantage of our leisurely pace, we decided to stop at the Castle of Loarre, an 11th century gem nestled into the foothills of Huesca. We arrived just in time, and were allowed to head in to the castle to explore even though they were about to close. One of the more completed and restored castles in Spain, it's no wonder that it was chosen as background for a number of films like Kingdom of Heaven. Lisa even got the chance to close the castle doors!

Next up was a quick stop for lunch in the lovely village of Ayerbe, then on to Hondarribia and a couple of days in Basque Country. We arrived in the evening, and the Parador of Hondarribia awaiting on the top of the hill with a commanding view over the harbor and the town, greeted us. An evening of relaxation and tomorrow a day off to explore and enjoy one of my favorite cities in all of Spain: San Sebastian.

For more information on planning your private guided tour in Spain contact The Spanish Touch at 888-480-0013.

No comments:

Post a Comment