November 30 2016
Two things that are mentioned to me about La Rioja that strike me as so very random: Hot Springs and Dinosaur Fossils.
Apparently, they are both attractions here in La Rioja, and of course the wine. So this is what La Rioja offers you, if ever you desire to visit. (And a trundle that has yet to be used.)I finally got to make my way to the Hot Springs though. They are in Arnedillo, La Rioja which is about forty minutes north of Calahorra. The drive itself is beautiful, and the town is just a small resort carved into the side of the mountains.
I had expectations of hiking through some woods, jumping over some rocks, and finding a cute little hole in which these hot springs lived. What I didn’t expect was what we found.
The town has them carved out and stairs lead down to the square baths. They are separated into three separate bathing areas that vary in temperature. (And insanely wild children who are inclined to throw rocks at one another…) I did wear my bathing suite in slight anticipation that I might, possibly, perhaps be tempted to show off the winter bod and descend into the water. So us three girls agreed all or none and made our way.
We chose the second bath and I spent about half the time glaring at said children until finally telling them to stop. The place was actually very, very crowded. The Spanish, in typical Spanish fashion, set themselves up, bringing picnic baskets, plastic bottles of wine, and robes for a day at the baths. I, for one, cursed our lack of thought.
The water is oddly cloudy and smells of sulfur but is actually very warm against the chilly outside temps. Add to the fact that the mountains are all around you and the children finally moved on to bother others, and it is pretty relaxing.
One of the wonderful things about living in a non-touristy place is being able to discover places like this. Places that aren’t necessarily on everyone’s list to discover. It makes being in Spain slightly more unique. La Rioja continues to surprise me in random, sporadic ways and for that I’m glad I chose to live here.