17 July, la Rioja, España

Vitoria-Gasteiz is, among many things, a European Green Capital,

read all about it. You'll have to cut n paste the link, I can't make it work.

We were up at 2:30 this morning to get to the airport in Porto, to make one of two daily flights to Bilbao. At that time of the morning the Metro doesn't run, and the only way to get to the airport is a taxi, a taxi ride that costs just about 30€, and takes 15minutes. We did have a great driver that gave us a good dose of info on both port, it's production, the restrictions imposed on the growers, and of course the economy of Europe.

Oh, one thing, when you travel between European Union countries you don't have to do any Customs, or Immigration stops. You just show your id or passport for checkin and Security.

So flight to Lisbon, one hour+\- layover, then to Bilbao. Upon arrival in Bilbao we headed to the Tourist Info kiosk and started gathering info, maps, and pamphlets.
Then we caught a bus from the airport to the main bus terminal, we got there just in time to catch the bus, less than an hour travel time, to Vitoria. Once the bus started going through Vitoria we weren't sure where to get off as we had no plan yet, other than getting here.

So we're driving down a big boulevard, and it looks to have restaurants and hotels, so well we got off - Right in front of a Barceló Hotel, so I tell Tom we'll go in, use their internet and reconnoiter.

I pull up a webite with hotels for the area. We've been staying in what could be considered budget hotels, no problem, we haven't needed much out of them. This night we decided to splurge a little. The Barceló Gasteiz is just at 80€ a night, we decide what the heck, its just one night.

The hotel, and the room look nice enough, on the surface. But once you've let yourself in you see all the flaws the poorly applied makeup are trying to cover. It's dated, a bit shabby, scratched and scruffed. And our aire conditioner isn't working. Well its running, but its not cooling. So here it is 11pm, we just got in from dinner, we drank a botte of wine, and we need to go to sleep. But wait, we now need to wait on a repair person.


So we are here in Vitoria to start our wine excursions. Looks like tomorrow we head to Logroño where we should be able to tour/visit several wineries.
Tom is all giggly! Well he was earlier, and I'm sure he will be again tomorrow!

My what a jumble this is, I'll have to try to put some order to it when we get home.