Ever since coming to Spain I have wanted to travel to different cities and experience what other beautiful cities this country has to offer. During the first month of being in Spain, I went to Madrid twice. Which was awesome,I love Madrid; but the second time I was visiting, I found myself doing the same things I had done the time before. I still would like to go back to Madrid, but see a different part because there are seven neighborhoods and I have seen only two.
I have wanted to go to a different city but didn’t want to go alone. The main reason being that I am still scared to speak Spanish, and the other is pure laziness. I keep looking at bus schedules and hostel prices, but have yet to actually make any reservations. One day I decided enough was enough and reached out to some other auxiliaries in my city to see if they wanted to do a fun day trip to Logroño.
Which is the capital of the ‘La Rioja’ region in Spain– famous for its wine, cheese, and beautiful landscapes. They all said yes because we had each grown tired of Soria. However the night before we were supposed to leave, I went out because it was Halloween, and because of who I am as a person I ended up missing the bus and wasn’t able to go to Logroño with the others I had planned. I was devastated that I couldn’t go, especially because I had planned a fun wine tasting tour. But, I digress. After about of week and a half of self-loathing I finally decided to head to Logroño on my own for a small day trip. The night before I left I planned to see the main attractions which included, Calle Laurel, El Museo de La Rioja, La Iglesia de Santa Maria de Palacio, and La Iglesia de San Bartolome. The next morning I headed to the train station and began my journey to La Rioja! The bus ride to Logroño was breathtaking, I couldn’t fall asleep on the bus because the colors were so pretty. The trees were in draped with red and yellow leaves and the mountains had green as far as the eye could see. The bus passed multiple vineyards just begging to be visited.
When I finally got into Logroño I headed straight to El Museo de La Rioja but ended up getting side track through all the small side streets. Luckily the museum was near the center and I ended up walking past it by chance. I asked the receptionist how much the entrance fee was and she said it was free and only asked to see my DNE (Spanish version of an identity card). With that she gave me a brochure and small introduction as to what each floor had on it. I started with the bottom and learned about one of the most memorable singers, Luceria Arana. She was a Spanish soprano-contralto singer who is remembered for her unique voice and style in the zarzuela genre. There was a tribute happening at the museum in celebration of her 150th birthday. She was born in Madrid but still made herself famous throughout Spain through her powerful and ‘admirable’ voice, according to one of the documents in the museum. The rest of the museum had prehistoric artifacts that were found throughout the region and slowly took you on a journey from prehistoric to the renaissance era, all the way until the modern time. For being four stories the museum was actually entertaining and really allowed you to learn about the region.
From there, I continued my self-guided tour and ended up on Logroño’s most famous street, Calle Laurel. This street is lined with nothing but tapa and pincho bar’s, and it’s an even better way to meet people and try the cities famous wine. Which I did–at about six different bars for less than 3 euros at each bar. How in the heck can you beat that? You can’t. The food was delicious and every bar had something different than the last. I spent so much time on this street that I ended missing the tour for La Iglesia de Santa Maria and ended up having to attend mass to see the inside. Not saying it’s a bad thing but stumbling into the middle of a mass ceremony a little turnt is a new experience for me. I ended up staying towards the back and tried to see as much of the displays as possible. I skipped out after about 30 minutes after I had shown up. Full and a wine happy I just roamed the city and found a few more famous places, but they were closed because it was siesta time. I’m not sure why these places were famous but TripAdvisor said it was a must and I had a few hours to kill so I said “Why not?”
I personally believe Logroño is very overlooked, but it was a lot to offer. There were still a few things I wanted to do like visit a vineyard but didn’t have the time to do that. I highly recommend planning a day trip to Logroño if you’re ever in Spain. It’s big enough that you can shop while still getting a taste of the countryside.