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Help with Northern Spain/France Basque Country or Roses/Barcelona to Basque Country/Rioja Valley

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Feb 26th, 2009, 12:28 PM
  #81
 
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Mikel,
I knew you would know it!! The English guy, Barren Williamson, apparently trained with Berasategui. It made the '08 Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía (Best of Spanish Gastronomy) guide's list of best bares de pintxos in the Basque Country, along with Aloña Berri, a Fuego Negro and Bergara in Donostia and La Viña del Ensanche. So, Mikel, will you take us there on our next visit this summer, please? (our treat), along with visiting your other fantastic discoveries, of course!
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Feb 27th, 2009, 05:34 AM
  #82
 
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Mikelg; My travel partner for this part of my month long trip in Spain was with an Artist woman whose love of art was more important than food! I just had to adapt! LOL. I'm neither a photographer or gormand but will try just about anything. PS: I don't like the Oysters on the Mediterrean or The Bay of Biscay when I know how good Chesapeake Bay and Willapa Bay oysters taste like but that's me. Why the Mussels, squid,cockles etc. and Shrimp are so tasty baffles me. Must have been the wine...
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Feb 27th, 2009, 06:06 AM
  #83
 
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Cherrybomb:

I think that you live in NYC, right? Can you tell me the name of that driving school and a little about whether your husband liked it and would recommend? I also want to learn to drive a stick and might be interested in taking a lesson...thanks. Your trip sounds superb!
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Feb 27th, 2009, 07:19 AM
  #84
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let me look it up. It is on either 14th or 23rd b/t Madison and Lex.

he liked it, but it is only 90 minutes. they mostly have you driving around the Amalgamated co-ops and Baruch housing on the LES because there is less traffic and a lot of stop signs. It did work for him before, but he said he'd rather me just teach him and spend more time. I said just do the class a day or 2 before leaving because I don't even think you can even rent a manual car here.

Again, I think the Portugal driving in cities freaked him out, he was fine driving in France after the class. He's also being a guy about it - embarrassed to not know how to drive a stick.

Anyway, I will look up the school and re-post.
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Feb 27th, 2009, 07:22 AM
  #85
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It was this place:
http://www.prodriveny.com/automatic.htm

Scroll all the way down, $70 for 90 min.
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Feb 27th, 2009, 08:59 AM
  #86
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oops, wrong link, this is for manual, and it is $100, it was $75 5 years ago.

http://www.prodriveny.com/stick.htm
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Feb 27th, 2009, 01:11 PM
  #87
 
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You´ll be my guest on your next visit, Maribel. There are, as always, some new places in the surroundings that we must visit...
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Feb 28th, 2009, 04:57 AM
  #88
 
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http://servicios.diariovasco.com/tus-fotos/ Cherrybomb; There are some great photos of the Basque Country from this Professional.
Hey Mike...I have done it! From Maljorca to Santander, from Barcelona to Platja dAro, from Madrid to St. Jean Luz. Guess I could go on to Cuba, the Azores but I'm boring myself and I didn't want to bore you people!
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Mar 18th, 2009, 08:27 AM
  #89
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another question, this was my itinerary:
My current itinerary is as follows:
May 19-21: Bilbao, Gran Hotel Domine
May 21-23: Elciego, Marques de Riscal, 11am tour on 22nd
May 23-25: Hondarribia, Hotel Rio Bidasoa
May 25-29: San Sebastian, Balenciaga Apt
May 29-31: Madrid, the ME Melia

I initially wanted to put Elciego at the end right before Madrid, but the Riscal had no rooms at then. They do now and the rate is 40 euro less per night, should I call and change up my itinerary to:

May 19-21: Bilbao, Gran Hotel Domine
May 21-23: Hondarribia, Hotel Rio Bidasoa
May 23-27: San Sebastian, Balenciaga Apt the Balenciaga is avail on these changed dates
May 27-29: Elciego, Marques de Riscal
May 29-31: Madrid, the ME Melia

or should I just leave it alone? the benefit to leaving it alone, is that I can have most of the laundry done as I will do it in the apt. the benefit to switching is that it will be a shorter drive to Madrid.

Thoughts?

Also, I was able to get an automatic car through National for 222 euro for the week so hopefully I don't have to deal with being the only driver...
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Mar 18th, 2009, 08:57 AM
  #90
 
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Instead of driving from Burgos to Bilbao, I would visit Santander in Cantabria. It's little slower and little longer, but It's Cantabria, not Basque Country.
Also I prefer Santander to Bilbao.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 09:09 AM
  #91
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Confused, I'm flying into Bilbao, leaving from Madrid, I wasn't planning on Burgos at all unless it was a stop for an hour or so en route to Madrid, that is if we feel a need to stop...
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Mar 18th, 2009, 09:18 AM
  #92
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Nevermind, I think you just read the 1st post.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 02:01 PM
  #93
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decided not to change up itinerary.

Booked Arzak for lunch on my birthday, the day after we arrive in San Sebastian, suggestions as to whether to switch this for dinner on Sunday?

I picked lunch as I would prefer to do pintxos in the evening, though am thinking Sunday may be a sleepier evening as far as people being out and perhaps should switch the reservation to Sunday night. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.
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Apr 4th, 2009, 09:07 AM
  #94
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anyone?
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Apr 4th, 2009, 09:19 AM
  #95
 
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Hi cherrybomb,
Sorry, I've been away traveling in the Rioja and other parts and missed your question.

I would keep the Arzak for lunch rather than dinner, particularly if you choose the tasting menu, which will be lengthy affair.

Pintxos, for me, at least, are much more fun in the Parte Vieja in the evening.
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Apr 4th, 2009, 09:44 AM
  #96
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thanks Maribel! I was just reconsidering because I was not sure how much was open on Sunday night. I hope your trip was nice.
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Apr 4th, 2009, 10:01 AM
  #97
 
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Everything is pretty much wide open on Sunday night pintxos wise, but the bars, in my experience, tend to close earlier than on Sat.

The Rioja portion of our trip was fabulous! And we did stop by Elciego and the Marqués de Riscal.

BTW, we had a really delightful meal at Amelibia in Laguardia. Extremely well spaced tables, beautiful views of the vineyards, highly professional service from the female wait staff, solid price to quality ratio, great food. It has now become our very favorite place to dine in Laguardia. We prefer it to El Medoc Alavés and Mayor de Migueloa. I would definitely put Amelibia on your list for lunch, and have the concierge call ahead to reserve one of the 4 window tables for you. From Elciego, Laguardia is only 6 km. away.
phone-945621207
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 01:10 PM
  #98
 
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Hi cherrybomb,
I've topped this because I know your trip is coming up soon and that you had wanted to arrange a balloon ride during your stay at Riscal.
If the concierge hasn't done this for you yet, I've discovered another source.


The winery, Señorío de Villarica in Hervías (near Santo Domingo de la Calzada) offers a 2 hr. hot air ballooning trip with departure from its parking lot at 8 am, followed by a tour of the winery at 10 and tasting at 10:30. Price is €165 p.p.

Here's the info (in Spanish) and a map
www.villarrica.es/pack_vino_globo.pdf
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Apr 28th, 2009, 07:01 AM
  #99
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Thanks so much Maribel. We have not made arrangements yet but were talking about it this weekend. I will look into this!
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May 13th, 2009, 08:58 AM
  #100
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Thanks again Maribel. The Riscal booked us the balloon ride you suggested and is moving our Riscal winery tour to the late afternoon so we can do it all in one day. I'll have them book Amelibia once we get there and have more of an idea of what we will be doing/what is around.

What are your thoughts on La Cepa in San Sebastian or this site for routing the pinxtos bars: http://www.todopintxos.com/home/home.php ?
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