Sunday morning we walked around Bordeaux a bit to find some breakfast pastries. Later we walked to a bus stop and took a bus to the airport where we picked up the rental car that we will drive to Paris.
We drove to Saint-Emilion. Duke and I stayed in Saint-Emilion last year. On that trip we stayed above a wine shop and regretted the fact that they were closed when we left so we weren’t able to buy wine. This time we went straight to the wine shop we visited last time, tasted some wine and ordered some to ship home. It makes a perfect souvenir.
We are staying a couple of miles outside of Saint-Emilion at a chateau surrounded by vineyards. It’s called Château Fombrauge.
For dinner we went to Camille & Soufiane the Michelin restaurant we ate at last year. It was a wonderful dining experience. The flavors and presentation of the food were perfect.
We are in France! This morning we walked to the train station in Donostia / San Sebastián. We caught a local train to just over the French Spanish border. It took about 45 minutes.
In Hendaye, France we had coffee and croissants. And I got to use my rusty French. I love croissants!
From the border we got on an intercity TGV train to Bordeaux. That ride took 2 1/2 hours.
We were in Bordeaux last Fall. I really like Bordeaux. We walked to our hotel. There were a lot of people n the streets.
For dinner we went back to a restaurant we ate at last time we were in Bordeaux. Bistro Réno was as wonderful this time as it was last time. The ambiance is so French, the people are so friendly and the food was divine. I think it was one of the best meal of our trip.
Today was a bit of a rest day. It snowed last night in the mountains we came through yesterday.
Today we spent a lot of time exploring between and during the rain squalls. At times the sun was shining and at other times it was raining or hailing.
Our room was on the top floor in the picture below. It was a nice place to take a bit of a rest and watch the weather change.
For dinner we went out to have pintxos again. There are so many places that are full in spite of the winter weather. We went to 3 places tonight. We started with the place we really enjoyed last night and had the grilled goat cheese again.
The weather for our entire trip has been grayer, wetter and colder than is normal for this time of year on the Iberian peninsula. It hasn’t stopped us from having a great time but still….
Thursday we headed north to Donastia/San Sebastián. Although it was cold and cloudy for most of the day it was a beautiful drive. We needed to do Duke’s review of the rental car (the fifth of the trip) because we would be returning it in Donastia/San Sebastián. Here is a link if you would like to watch Duke’s Review of the SEAT Ibiza.
We went over Lizarraga pass and stopped at this viewpoint.
In Donastia/San Sebastián we checked into our hotel, then drove to the shopping center where we dropped off the car. We had a coffee while we waited for the rain outside to stop.
Then we walked back to the hotel.
When we went out to find pintxos (tapas) for dinner the wind between the buildings along the waterfront was like we were in a wind tunnel.
On the map today looked like it would be a relatively short drive with not much to see. But it turned out to be a beautiful drive. We saw everything from cave dwellings to dinosaurs! We made six stops on the 68 mile drive.
1. We had barely left Soria when we saw a sign for Numancia archaeological site. Numancia was a Celtiberian hillfort town. Just as we pulled up a school bus of kids pulled up. We took a few pictures but it was cold and windy so we decided not to go in.
2. We headed north and went over a pass The temperature dropped to about 38 Fahrenheit and we were in the clouds. I took a picture of the view.
3. A bit further down the road we saw a sign “Fuentesalvo”. We stopped and discovered dinosaur footprints!
4. Next we came around a corner and spotted this dinosaur on a hill across the valley! Duke said he was friendly.
5. In the village of Yanquas we stopped to look at this wonderful bridge, apparently built in the Middle Ages.
6. Last but certainly not least we started seeing caves in the cliffs along the road. When we saw a Cuevas (caves) sign we stopped and hiked up to investigate. They weren’t open but it was a fun walk.
In Calahorra we checked into the Parador and had our welcome drinks. We raised our glasses and made a toast to Paradors. Calahorra is the last Parador we will stay in on his trip. It is the 81st Parador we have stayed in over the last 6 years. On this trip we have stayed in 17.