Tag Archives: Spain

Many-Layered Toledo

A 25 minute train takes us to Toledo on Day 113 of our EU Austerity Drinking Tour. The ancient city lies South of Madrid, and although not known for wine, should get us drunk on culture.

We walk from the oddly Moroccan-looking train station, along the river, to the citadel’s bridge.

Western walls crowned with Christian churches and Renaissance pavillons make Toledo look like any old, mind-blowingly impressive, European citadel. But then we cross the bridge.

Islamic arches and ornaments interweave with the stone and brickwork.

Imagine your Ford truck with a Chinese dragon statue where the chair should be.

Three centuries of Islamic rule paint Toledo. We climb then weave through city square, alleys, and paths. Toledo’s massive yet intricate Cathedral demands a tour. Continue reading

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Mellowing Madrid: EU Austerity Drinking Tour Day 111

This Monday’s installment of our EU Austerity Drinking Tour finds Tracy and I 111 days deep into Europe. Bedazzling Barcelona broke us.  Constant sight-seeing, drinking, and planning had turned into a chore.  Shoes, ipods, clothes, health, sanity were all tattered. … Continue reading

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Barcelona Brakes and Beer: EU Austerity Drinking Tour La Cervesera Artesana

106 days in, and our EU Austerity Drinking Tour has taken its toll. Barcelona gleams sunny and beautiful but seems cursed.

I dropped my iPod: home to all my wine notes, photos, and videos. Also, superglue has stopped holding my fancy Vibram shoes together. Worse, Spain’s economy cracks around us. Pickpockets swarm our outings. Financial tensions rile the (otherwise lovely) international couple that hosts us. But worst of all, Tracy’s stomach decides to stop working.

She becomes bedridden. All she can eat are prunes, water, and Cava. So like any good husband, I leave her. Continue reading

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Barcelona: Roman Winery and Modern Bottle Shop

We leave the Pyrenees-locked country of Andorra on the 104th day of our EU Austerity Drinking Tour. Spain is our next step: land of Cava, Rioja, Bierzo, Ribera del Duero and countless other wines.

Cliff castles, shrub-dusted hills, Romanesque churches, and deep ravines all zip past like a slide show. Then fingered rocks form the most surreal horizon.

After a few hours, the road straightens, the land flattens, and agriculture and industry take over the landscape. We grow tired of a chatty traveler from Israel. Less dramatic villages crawl by, occasionally peppered by a ruin or two. Continue reading

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Climbing the Pyrenees to Andorra: Capdevila Pujol, Brut, Cava, Spain NV

After a month of drinking our way through western France, we shift our EU Austerity Drinking Adventure south.  But before bathing in Spain’s wine culture, we tack on three days in Andorra. We have no idea what Andorra will be.  … Continue reading

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