Hotel Viñas de Lárrede
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Road trip day 3 – from Lourdes to Tirol

Today we actually want to make Lourdes unsafe, instead we meet colorful old men in a lot of glass and feel in the evening like in Tyrol…

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It comes differently. Than you think. We left beautiful San Sebastián in the rain. Sitting again in the orange Predator – Jeep and had considered driving to the French pilgrimage site of Lourdes. Because we liked to spend a little time in the Pyrenees. And before going back to Barcelona on Friday, still wanted to have been in Huesca.

San Sebastián street side Hotel Villa Favorita
Our departure in the rain – the hotel facade to the street side

Off to France

So we are going in the direction of Lourdes. But is continuous rain a good option for our next destination? In Spain, you get used to the male ritual, common in Germany, of always consulting the weather forecast and seeing things like weather stations as gifts that add value. Because the weather is good most of the time. But here in the mountains of Spain, the topic catches up with us again.

Off to Spain

It came as it had to come. We turn around shortly after the French border and head back south. To then orient ourselves to the east. Through high mountain landscapes that are insanely impressive. Even in the constant rain. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to capture that really well. Nevertheless, I do not want to withhold a few impressions from you.

At some point it becomes brighter. The sky occasionally rips open. Later, on the fairly new A-21, or more sonorous Autovía del Pirineo, spectacular cloud formations remain in the sky.

Highway and freeway?

In Spain, by the way, the terms autovía and autopista are commonly used, the autopista is usually the better developed, higher speed allowing more like the German autobahn resembling traffic routes, while the autovía is more like a kind of super developed country road. Which, however, can sometimes end at a traffic light or have an intersection in the middle of it. Nice side effect of the Autovía is that there are never any toll roads. As a rule, autovías are indicated by the presented A and autopistas by the AP.

The A-21 is obviously still new. In some places we see huge construction sites, the sense of which is not apparent as we drive past. But suddenly a huge body of water appears in front of us, which will be our companion for an incredibly long time (18 kilometers to be precise). As I read later, it is the Yesa – dam, which dams up the river Aragón to a lake of up to 2089 hectares.

18 kilometer reservoir

Completed in 1959, the 74-meter-high dam resists the pressure of up to 18 kilometers of reservoir at its longest point. If something should ever go wrong, a gigantic tidal wave would pour over the town of Yesa and certainly other towns and villages, causing unimaginable damage.

Restaurant Sarbil in Jatetxea

My big girl had found a good place for our lunch: Sarbil Restaurant in a place with the unpronounceable name of Jatetxea. So we drive on smaller roads to this place and find the only modern building we have seen for the last 30 minutes: Our restaurant. I’m excited about the choice and we’re marching in.

Restaurant Sarbil: Colorful and transparent

Inside, it’s kind of whimsical. On the one hand super modern. An incredible view in three of four possible directions. But at the same time it’s like a typical village Spanish pub. With predominantly older gentlemen, only that they are dressed here in signal-colored functional clothing. I call it “Bauhaus meets Pinte.”

In the Sarbil restaurant, the menu is digital. I treat myself to a glass of white wine, it comes from the vineyard across the street. A Chardonnay that tastes good to me. As an appetizer I get a plate of scrambled eggs with wild mushrooms. The mushrooms are a bit watery, the scrambled eggs taste good. It is similar with the entrecôte as the main course: the meat is really good, the fries should have been given some more time to become crispier. My big girl’s arroz as well as the duck breast were also both decent, but just more as a village pinte, less as a Bauhaus.

But since this is reflected in the bill as well, the restaurant Sarbil was a very good choice for a nice stay on the transit after all. And really recommended if you are ever in the corner!

While we sit at dinner, this time I find a hotel. It looks like a typical Tyrolean chalet. Wood decorated. Fairy lights. Large balconies across the width of the house. And that in Spain. I find mega bizarre, so we book ourselves two rooms and resume the journey.

Off to Tyrol

We drive another relaxing hour and a half, then we arrive at the Hotel Viñas de Lárrede. As if it had been mined in Tyrol. And rebuilt here in Spain. Later I see that the woodwork was apparently first learned from the carpenters. A few places are somehow uncleanly worked, partly repaired with kit. Others are perfect. Probably this was “training on the job” and the Spanish Carpinteros first had to find out the specific Tyrolean work steps?

We are received incredibly nice. Come into conversation and hear that the area should be a dream area for mountain bikers. And that we could rent electric mountain bikes. And get a small stack of paper with the tour suggestions. We consider then to hang nevertheless simply still another night (price per room scarcely 200€) and to make on the next day a bicycle tour in the mountains.

Basically, the price is relatively cheap for the quality of the rooms at Hotel Viñas de Lárrede. As I learn later in conversations with various locals, June is simply not yet the season. In July and August it would probably really go off, just like in winter. But we enjoy the relative emptiness of places and nature in glorious weather. In winter, cross-country skiing and motor and dog sledding are the sports of choice, destroyed slopes by lifts are almost non-existent here.

Dinner at the hotel is perfectly fine. Some is very good, some is really mediocre. Service is super nice. The food, however, summarized in such a way that it can be eaten with satisfaction as a hotel guest. But that’s not why I would go to the Hotel Viñas de Lárrede. Therefore, I will spare us a long treatise about it and rather close the day with a few spectacular sunset photos that you can shoot from the restaurant terrace.

With this in mind, have a good night!

Arnd

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