The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 4 – La Rioja)

There’s one person you’re bound to meet on your Camino, and if you don’t find him at first, keep looking and like Where’s Wally? (or Where’s Waldo? in the USA), he’ll eventually pop up — he’s José Antonio Primo de Rivera, and I first spotted him in La Rioja. You enter the famous winemaking regionContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 4 – La Rioja)”

The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 1)

You might not notice it, but the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) is a conflict still alive in Spain.  Any Spanish person you meet of 60 years or older (e.g. some of the hospitalero who run the albergues you stay in) will not simply be old enough to have lived under the dictatorship, but will haveContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 1)”

The wine of La Rioja

La Rioja is the smallest of Spain’s autonomous regions and is synonymous with quality wine in the way that Bordeaux is in France or Napa Valley in the US.  Indeed, it’s sometimes known as the Bordeaux of Spain, not least because French winemaking techniques were introduced to it in the later nineteenth century, which reallyContinue reading “The wine of La Rioja”