Satellite navigation systems can be really useful. We’ve used ours with varying degrees of success. In a moment of whimsy, I changed the ‘voice’ to a female Australian, in the hope that she would alert me to wallabies ahead. Despite the fact that she has yet to announce such an event, there seems to be confusion between turning right and bearing right (don’t worry, left gets similar treatment). Thus it was that today, a journey of less than sixty minutes took nearly two hours. True, we were treated to some stunning rural Spanish scenery and a tour of the urban parts of Vitoria-Gasteiz but a more direct journey would have been less stressful.

Our destination was a worthy reward for the extended drive though. A five star hotel with a Michelin starred restaurant, the Frank Gehry designed Marques De Riscal is simply stunning. The food is equally as good…

After our lunch we wandered back to the shop and cafeteria, which is part of both the hotel and the Marques De Riscal bodega. Susie bought some wine and a fridge magnet to add to our upmarket collection. The journey back to our hotel was much easier…until we reached Onati. The road up to the hotel here is somewhat difficult to access, so I can’t totally blame our Aussie friend. Add to that half the town centre being closed off thanks to a fiesta or running event, it took 45 minutes of driving round before I tried a single track road in the hope of finding the hotel from outside town. Luckily, I recognised the street on which the access road lies. I’ve never been so glad to see a hotel car park..


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