Hong Kong has the big city specials like smog, odour, 14 million elbows and an insane love of clatter. But it's also efficient, hushed and peaceful: the transport network is excellent, the shopping centres are sublime, and the temples and quiet corners of parks are contemplative oases. The best thing about being in Hong Kong is getting flummoxed and fired by the confluences ...



Parador Argomaniz Spain

The Parador Argomaniz is located 12 km from Vitoria/Gasteiz - approximately midway between Bilbao and Pamplona. This noble stone building was formerly the Larrea palace - whose family coat-of-arms is emblazoned prominently above the main entrance door. Parador Argomaniz is a rare find.

It is a perfectly preserved 17th century palace. It has a somewhat plain exterior, but its interior is a delight. The entrance is framed by majestic stone columns. This leads you to an interior that is decorated with various Renaissance ornaments. The bedrooms contain antique wooden chests and furniture and fine polished wooden floors.All the public rooms are tastefully done.

There are many cozy "sitting nooks" with nice views out to the countryside. Perfect places for sitting with a good book and a cup of coffee. This is a splendid Renaissance palace in all respects and the perfect place to stop if you are traveling through this part of Spain.An interesting historical note - and one you can contemplate during your stay: Napoleon stayed here for a time while he regained his strength before attacking the town of Vitoria.

The Parador of Argomaniz dominates the surrounding natural beauty of the Plains of Álava, the Gorbea mountain range and the Ullibarri Gamboa reservoir.Interesting nearby excursions from Parador of Argomaniz:.- Be sure and wander around the small, pleasant village of Argómaniz.- As well the Parador Argomaniz is ideal for walks and drives out into the beautiful natural spaces that surround it.

Interesting day trips from the Argomaniz Parador include:.- Vitoria/Gasteiz (12 km). Santa María Cathedral, Museums.- El Gorbea Ullibarri and Urrunaga, Salvaterra reservoirs (12 km), Gaceo (8 km) and Añara (8 km).- Rioja wine country near Alavesa is a great day trip for wine tasting and vineyard visits (about 40 km.

).- Garaco Nature Reserve (5 km).Interesting festivals during the year:.- White Virgin festivals 4 August, Vitoria/Gasteiz, 12 km.
- Semana Grande 15 Agust, Bilbao/Bilbo, 70 km.
- Semana Grande 8 August, San Sebastián/Donostia, 100 km.

- San Fermine (the famous "running of the bulls") 7 July, Pamplona/Iruña, 85 km.*Note - lodging is impossible to obtain in Pamplona at this time. The Parador at Argomaniz is a great possibility for securing a room during the festival - still be prepared to book far ahead.The Parador Argomaniz, is a bit out-of-the-way for most, and for this reason provides a special experience to those travelers savvy enough to make their way here. This is a wonderful natural area, and to be able to stay in a Renaissance palace where Napoleon once stayed - well, not many can boast of that!.

.SpainParador.com makes it easy for you to plan and arrange your next trip to Spain. This time stay in palaces, castles, and other places of great historical interest and rare beauty - the wonderful Paradors of Spain. http://www.SpainParador.


By: Gary Bumpas

Travel Hong Kong

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