Passing through Elciego, Spain

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Elciego, Spain

After completing our tour of Laguardia, it was on to the next quaint town in the beautiful Basque wine country with Lidia and Jose Ramon as our tour guides.  It wasn’t long before we entered the town of Elciego, home to the popular Hotel Marques De Riscal designed by Frank Gehry.  After visiting the Guggenheim in Bilbao, seeing another Frank Gehry design was high on my list so I was thrilled to be stopping in Elciego.

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View of Hotel Marques De Riscal from up the hill in the Old Town in Elciego.

We spotted the twisted colorful titanium design in the distance and parked as close as we could hoping to get a glimpse inside.  But as we approached we were turned away since we weren’t guests of the hotel.  Later I learned that the starting rates are $620/ night and out of reach for the average traveler.  For myself,  I am thoroughly satisfied with my visit to the Guggenheim which is very affordable and truly amazing.

#1IMG_3240The more interesting part of Elciego was our walk up the hill toward the Church of San Andrés which stands high and mighty above the town.

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Church of San Andrés

The church was closing when we arrived, then Jose Ramon recognized one of the two priests who were locking up.  Generously they allowed us a few minutes to peak inside.  I walked up the aisle and took in the beauty and serenity of the place while the others chatted at the entrance and waited for me.  It felt like a special moment that would be interrupted if I fumbled with my camera so I left without any images to share.

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The Main Plaza in Elciego

Although the parking lot below was quite busy, the Old Town was surprisingly quiet inspite of it being a holiday week.  Most tourists were apparently visiting the dozens of wineries in the area.

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Plaza Major

#3IMG_8225Stores were closed for siesta but we found a cafe for afternoon coffee which we enjoyed outside.

Next stop: San Vincente de La Sonsierra

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4 thoughts on “Passing through Elciego, Spain

  1. Pingback: Laguardia: In the heart of the Basque wine region | Jump Write In

  2. Pingback: To the top of San Vicente de La Sonsierra | Jump Write In

  3. Great post! I have dual US/Spain citizenship and did not come to the US until I was 10. Rioja is my favorite wines and one of my favorite places to visit. My mother’s favorite wine was Marques de Riscal which is easy to get here in the US. The year my mother was diagnosed with cancer, my wife and I flew to Spain, spent a day in Bilbao (she loved the Guggenheim, I didn’t like it’s clash with the more traditional architecture), and then drove down to El Ciego and purchased as much Marques de Riscal wine (including the Gran Reserva) that we could get. My mother passed away a month later, but the wine from the winery was the last one she drank. She never made it to the winery but we had lots of pictures of the grounds, including the hotel. Thanks for sharing, it brought back great memories. We live in Napa Valley so wine is still part of our every day. Check out our wine country blog: http://www.topochinesvino.com. Follow us if you like what you see.

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