Camino de Santiago (Spain)-part 9

Day 9. We were dry and ready for another day on the Camino. It was not raining. We all has a smile on our face. We had one hour on the bus to get to Herrerias and then,  we started our 8.5 km morning walk.

2015-06-11 03.23.37

That morning, we truly enjoyed spectacular  views back down over Valcare Valley.  Looking back from  where we started.  Such a nice area. That is the day we entered Galicia and reached  Cebreiro ( 1300m/4264′).

DSC01968

We saw a farmer working on his field.

DSC01982

                   2015-06-11 03.25.56

As my husband and I are fast walkers and the whole group is behind us, we had time to enjoy a cold beer before lunch. Our lunch were different every day  but it was always a delicious picnic prepared by Jose.

                                   DSC02046

DSC02059

After lunch, we visited the palloza ethnographic museum. The construction of the palloza dates to Celtic and re-Roman times.

DSC02089

Another walk in the afternoon , along ancient hilly and steep trails. We arrived in Samos.  We had a superb view on the  Monastery that we  visited  before dinner.

DSC02145

This  Benedictine Monastery is one of the most ancient and most important of Spain. I think there are only a dozen of monks living there. The church façade dates back to the eighteenth century and is still incomplete.

DSC02166

DSC02185

Some art on the walls of the Monastery.

DSC02172

DSC02181

While we had time we  bought some chocolate at the gift shop (to bring home).

DSC02210

What a nice day. Even a year later , I am  still thinking as one of our best time on the Camino. I look at  the photos and I am so grateful we were there.  Maybe we could go back. One more photo on this post and  more to come ( 2 more days on the Camino). By the way, I don’t know the exact amount of photos I took every day  ( a lot)  but for my blog I choose  a few to give you an idea of the places we saw.

DSC01960

Thanks   for your visit . I know I have regular  readers ( Cece, Marcia, Mary, Janine, Jeannie, Stephen )so   I say to you : hasta luego y gracias.

 

Camino de Santiago (Spain)-part 8

In the story of this blog, it is still June 2015. Day 8 of our walking adventure in Northern Spain. The sky was really gray as we left the hotel and without a surprise we had to wear our raincoat that morning. We crossed the 20-arched medieval bridge in Puente Orbigo.2015-06-10 01.13.35We stopped in the first village for a little while hoping the rain would stop. It didn’t so we kept walking. Just following the yellow arrow.

DSC01844

Rain, rain, rain… after all it must rain sometimes.

2015-06-10 02.41.31

My socks were wet.  After we stopped for lunch, the rain stopped.        I did not want to change as my shoes  were really too wet and I think It would not have made a difference. Here is Sam and I after our morning walk.  11 km. I think Sam did not walk  but normally he did . He was only 9 years old and a very good walker.

DSC01858

Lunch was good. Cheese, bread, salad…

2015-06-10 04.43.02

After our lunch, we stopped in  Astorga. We had time for a hot chocolate ( Spanish style, very thick). I bought some chocolate  another day to bring home.

DSC01884

We saw a van with some bikes. Some companies  offer bike rental for those who want to do the Camino on bike. Personally, I think walking is better and it is much easier to take photos.

DSC01894

In Astorga,  we saw the Archbishop’s Palace ,  a masterpiece from  Antoni Gaudi. We could only see the outside. It was closed on that day and I think we did not have enough time.

DSC01879

We reached the famous Cruz de Ferro . The tiny iron cross is embedded into the top of a long wooden beam and surrounded by a large and ancient pile of rocks, Pilgrims often carry stones from home to throw on the pile at this place  that is the highest point on the Camino  ( 1505m/4936′).

2015-06-10 07.53.23

Another 6 km to walk to reach  Molinaseca.  We crossed an old bridge and at the end of the village, we arrived at our hotel

2015-06-10 09.31.55

Time to dry our clothes, find a good place for dinner and relax. We have great memories of our dinner with a very friendly server called Javier. The cost of the dinner was 10 Euros including wine, soup, main dish, dessert and coffee. What a deal!

In the backyard of our hotel…Love is in the air !!!DSC01903

More on our adventure on the Camino in my next post. Thanks again for reading.

 

 

 

Camino de Santiago (Spain)-part 7

June 2015.  Day 7 of our travel on the Camino de Santiago…

This day was going to be a very special day as I was going to meet a  Spanish pen-pal at the end of the day  but first let’s see what we did that day.  We visited the remains of a Roman bath complex with numerous mosaics, it was a well preserved 4th C  AD ruins.

You can see the designs on the floor.

DSC01603   DSC01618

DSC01629     DSC01630

There are many  routes that lead to Santiago. We were on the Camino Francés. ( The French Camino/The French Way).  Historically, due to the  codex Calixtinus , most of the pilgrims came from France: typically from  Arles, Le Puy, Paris and Vézelay ; some from Saint Gilles.  Cluny , site of the celebrated medieval abbey, was another important rallying point for pilgrims and, in 2002, it was integrated into the official European pilgrimage route linking Vézelay and Le Puy.

DSC01650

DSC01655

DSC01653

We did not have to walk too much that day as we had to arrive early enough in  Leon to visit  the Gothic Cathedral and the underground royal pantheon  ( where it was forbidden to take photos). The Cathedral was  superb. I really enjoyed the magnificent stained glass. The French-inspired Santa Maria La Blanca Cathedral is known for the purity of its style and for housing the finest stained glass in Spain. some dating to the 13th C.

DSC01790

DSC01800

DSC01827

DSC01814

It was  fun to meet with my friend Encarna.  She was very kind on driving  a few km to meet me on the day I was passing the closest from the city where she lives. She is learning English but it was my chance to practice Spanish during our visit. We always are able to communicate when we really want to.

20150609_125825

20150609_125845

Another good day. I  think it would have been nice to have more time to wander in that city but we had to get our sleep and another adventure was just ahead of us  with still 4 more days on the Camino.

Thanks to read /comment.  Gracias !

 

 

 

Camino de Santiago (Spain)-part 6

June 2015.  Day 6.

Another look at the beautiful Cathedral of Burgos  while having our breakfast. And watching the pilgrims taking quickly a photo- almost not stopping -was interesting .     We know that it is much better to walk early and avoid the midday heat.

After a  30 minutes shuttle , we went in a cafe to go to the washroom  before the walk. We met the owner, very proud of his wall with souvenirs from pilgrims passing in his village.

2015-06-08 00.28.44

I also  took a shot of Sam ( our guide’s son ) .

DSC01410

And then, we started our walk on the meseta. The Castilian high plain, passing scattered villages along a good rural path. Beautiful flat  land with fields of wheat and red poppies.

DSC01415

DSC01421

2015-06-08 02.00.54

DSC01414

Maybe the most beautiful scenery we had so far  but maybe not the last.  I walked with Sam  for a while  and try to make funny selfies. Another warm day without clouds.

We got to San Bol for our picnic and a rest. Always good to rise our legs after a long walk. We could also soak our feet in the icy fountain.

DSC01472

In the afternoon, we saw some adobe homes and dovecotes . We enjoyed this educational part of our trip.  So much to learn when you travel. A dovecote or dovecot is a structure intended to house pigeons or doves.  Dovecotes may be free-standing structures in a variety of shapes, or built into the end of a house or barn. They generally contain pigeonholes for the birds to nest. Pigeons and doves were an important food source historically in Western Europe and were kept for their eggs, flesh, and dung. In some cultures, particularly  Medieval Europe , the possession of a dovecote was a symbol of status and power and was consequently regulated by law. Only nobles had this special privilege known as “droit de colombier”.

DSC01511

DSC01519

We walked some more on a very flat trail along an 18th C canal which used to be important for transport and irrigation.

DSC01531

We arrived in Carrion de los Condes.  Visited the beautiful San Zoilo Monastery founded in the 10th C.

2015-06-08 10.55.42

It had been a good day for sure. Good weather, good conversation with our new friends and good opportunities for photography.

More on the Camino … very soon! Thanks again for following my steps on this very special path !

 

 

Camino de Santiago (Spain)-part 5

Day 5 of our fun time on the Camino. On that day, we walked 13 km in the morning. An area that used to be a dreaded section for pilgrims because thieves hid in the woods.

DSC01107

We arrived in Ortega to have our daily picnic. Delicious as always.

DSC01179

We visited the 12th (romanesque )/15th (Gothic) Century San Juan de Ortega church.

We were on the bus after to get to Burgos where we visited the Cathedral with a local guide.  It was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. We were there on a special day : Corpus Christi. Celebrated 60 days after Easter.

DSC01234

DSC01237

DSC01366

Once again, it was fantastic to see a beautiful  building. Our hotel was facing the Cathedral and from the 4th floor.  It was a splendid view.

2015-06-07 07.00.59

We were on our own that evening ; that means not eating with our group.                          We decided to walked up to the look-out point and enjoy a drink before dinner.

2015-06-07 09.36.46

The yellow line is an indication that we are on  the Camino.

Then, we found a place for dinner in the city . We also stopped in another place for churros before going back to our room.

2015-06-07 12.38.45

What a nice visit in Burgos.

DSC01370

We had 6 more days on the Camino. We were, at that point, on a roll and walking was just what we wanted to do.

More on this journey in my next post. Thanks for reading.

Camino de Santiago (Spain)-part 4

June 2015. Day 4. The adventure on the Camino continues. After  breakfast, we walked almost 10 km through rolling countryside and vineyards.

DSC00774

We passed the 575 km mark. It means, there are 225 km left before Santiago. But we are not walking it all. Just some sections! Often, we see the logo with the shell.  On the pavement or on a wall.

DSC00795

That day, I saw two women from Quebec. We had a little chat as we walked together for a while. They really impressed me with their journey . They had been walking for 5 weeks already as they started their journey in Puy-en-Velay, France.  They told me that the Camino in France was really nice. They were going to walked all the way to Santiago. It means they would be walking almost 1600km in about 2 months. I am sure your life is not the same after such experience.

That day , we also visited Sta Maria La Real Monastery in Najera.  A statue of the Virgin Mary was discovered inside a cave in the cliffs.

DSC00844

Another day, another great lunch.DSC00911After lunch , we walked some more to get to Santa Domingo de la Calzada.  We visited the Cathedral.  Inside the Cathedral, a rooster and a hen are kept in memory of the famous legend of the innocent hanged pilgrim kept alive.  Always a Cathedral to see in many place we go !!

DSC01022

We also went up to the bell tower. The view was great. On the photo below you see the parador where we slept that night.2015-06-06 10.06.47

A few more days to go on the Camino. Thanks for following the story of our adventure.

 

 

Camino de Santiago (Spain)- part 3

Our adventure on the CAMINO  continues…(June 2015 )

Day 3. After a good night of sleep and a good breakfast, we walked in the city of Estella. Estella is twin sister of St-Jean-pied-de-Port since 1964. The city was very quiet in that early morning. At 8:20 it was already 23C. Nancy, our guide,  has asked us to start the day a little earlier in order to beat the heat of the afternoon.  We stopped at the San Miguel church known for its spectacular Romanesque carvings.

DSC00451

We walked on the “Calle Rua”,  that is the street  on the  Camino in Estella.

DSC00511

After a short stop in a café, we took the bus to get to the famous wine and water fountain at the Irache Bodega winery.  We tasted the wine and then got on with our morning walk (7 km) through vineyards, rolling forested hills and village garden plots.

DSC00538

Here I am with my Traveling Bee and Sam  (son of our guides).

DSC00639

Walking, chatting or just enjoying the view. Taking photos of course, all the time.

DSC00545

We arrived in Logrono and from there we did a wine tasting at the Rioja Winery.

DSC00665

For the evening, we were free to explore the town and taste as many “pinchos” as possible.  A pincho ( literally “thorn” or “spike”) is a small snack, typically eaten in bars, traditional in northern  Spain  and especially popular in the  Basque country  and Navarre. They are usually eaten in bars or taverns as a small snack while hanging out with friends or relatives; thus, they have a strong socializing component, and in the Basque country and Navarre they are usually regarded as a cornerstone of local culture and society. They are related to  tapas , the main difference being that pinchos are usually ‘spiked’ with a skewer or toothpick, often to a piece of bread. They are served in individual portions and always ordered and paid for independently from the drinks. It is not impossible, however, to have the same item called “pincho” in one place and “tapa” in other. Each little restaurant serves something different.

DSC00737

Then , we needed to sleep fast and be ready for another day. Thanks again for reading.  I hope you enjoy my story on the CAMINO. Let me know what you think !!