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3 questions re: Aragonés

Julitapaz

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
1. How well marked is the route from Somport to Puente la Reina? Despite having found my way along various Camino routes, I am notoriously adept at getting lost, even with a GPS blue dot. Thus, clear arrows and markings will be very helpful.
2. I will do research on the area, but are there specific recommendations of things to do/see in Zaragoza, as I plan to spend a day or two there on the way to Somport.
3. Any recommendations of books, either fiction or nonfiction, about the Aragon region?
TIA
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
The path is generally well-marked but not very few feet like on the Camino Francés. It’s hard to truly get lost since you are essentially in a valley paralleling the Aragon River for the first half of the route and then another valley of sorts from Sangüesa. That being said, if you are prone to wandering off-trail, definitely take a map, gps, and/or guidebook. There are few pilgrims on the route and the fallback strategy of just following the person in front of you won’t work on the CA.

Zaragoza is a large city with a rich history - definitely worth a visit! If you only have a short time there, focus on the main plaza where all the key sites are within walking distance: cathedral, Pilar Basilica (don’t miss the statue and the bomb!), Roman forum/walls/museum, and palace (home to the Spanish Inquisition).
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Hi @Julitapaz,
I can give you some feedback from my experiences last summer both walking and serving as a hospitalera in Canfranc Pueblo.
1. We found the route well marked. There are some areas where it is recommended for bikes that deviate from walkers (such as the turnoff to Arrés), but generally those are well-marked. We walked as far as Artieda, but I had a heat injury and we had to stop. There is a long way sometimes without water points, but there is a good network of albergues on this route. Others can comment past Artieda on markings.
2. We spent a day in Zaragoza and really enjoyed it. We stayed at an AirBNB in the old town. There are several museums for Roman ruins, the huge church, and also the old palace is now the center of government. Buses are easy to use with Google maps.
3. Not a lot of readings that we found in this region, but there are a couple of historical fiction series about El Cid that talk a lot about this region and also Zaragoza. Grif Hosker is one author. Stuart Ridge is another.
 
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Lavdrum

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata-2015/Portugues 2016/Norte(Irún>Avilés) July 2017/Francés Oct.2017/Salvador-Primitivo July 2018
I walked from Somport to Puenta la Reina last October. This Camino is not as well marked as the Francés, the arrows are more spaced out and in some cases could do with freshening up because of them having faded. Occasionally the arrows can be difficult to find as well. There were few pilgrims on this Camino last October. I followed the stages on Gronze and the Albergues were generally fine. No need to book ahead. I would particularly recommend the Albergue in Canfranc Pueblo-new, clean, very comfortable. Last October there were no facilities open in Somport, no food or drink as I had walked up from the French side and my water supply was exhausted by the time I got to Somport!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I walked the stretch from Puente de Reina de Jaca to Puente de Reina. I don't recall any navigational difficulties (except once). I did often have the Wikiloc app running though.

The one time I remembered going the wrong way was just before reaching the church of Santa Maria de Eunate. I didn't see the marking to take me off the rural road to the trail. Wikiloc gave me a warning that I was off track but I had turned the volume down all the way a short time before.

Reason: I was following a track that had waypoints and had set the app to signal me before reaching waypoints. All the waypoints turned out to be "I took a photograph from here" and I was seeing the same thing anyway and so the signals were annoying. I took the easy way to silence Wikiloc and turned the volume down instead of changing the waypoint notification setting. And so I didn't hear the "You're off track" warning.
 

jascreative

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Recent: Camino Portuguese (Porto to Santiago) 2022
Regarding books, you might want to check out The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson that includes historical/art historical/cultural info about the Aragones – It’s one of my favorite resources for the Camino.

My dad & I walked the Aragones from Somport to Obanos/Puente la Reina in 2015 -- don’t recall any challenges with finding markers, but it’s a more isolated trail (saw no other walkers for the first 2 days), so make sure you have a good GPS app & emergency info if needed, especially if walking alone.

Stayed in Zaragoza & got our credencials at the Basilica museum –

Have a wonderful journey, & Buen Camino!
 

howardd5

Active Member
I walked the Aragonnes way in 2008 and again in 2017 and felt way much better marked in 17 . However I got lost both times and found very few people could understand my English. But remember , We don’t do them because they are easy we did them because we thought they would be easy ! One comment about Zaragoza. That is the last known location for the Holy Grail. Who knew.
 
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Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
Hi I’ve walked the Aragones twice, most recently in late 2019. I didn’t use a GPS. I followed the waymarking which I thought was good, if a little infrequent 😎

Only time I went wrong was on Day 3 when our destination was Ruesta. We had walked up to Artieda for a delightful lunch stop. After making our way down the hill, we missed a left turn. I think we were not paying attention, perhaps the effect of resting in the hammocks at Artiedes. 😍 As we got closer to the reservoir we instinctively felt it had been too long since we’d seen an arrow, so we retraced our steps.

The Aragones is a wonderful path. Enjoy.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
One comment about Zaragoza. That is the last known location for the Holy Grail. Who knew.

I took a picture of a placard about the Grail that was in the museum of the "new" monastery of San Juan de la Peña. It says the Grail is now in Valencia. Here's the Google translation in a quotation box:
The Holy Grail is undoubtedly the object that has originated the greatest number of medieval legends. It is about The Sacred Vessel that José de Arimathea used to collect the blood of Christ on Calvary and in the Holy Sepulchre, which in almost all the versions of the stories, is also the one used in the Last Supper.

Medieval tradition tells that around the year 258, before the imminence of his martyrdom, Pope Sixtus II entrusted the Holy Chalice to his deacon San Lorenzo, who sent it to Huesca, his hometown Centuries later to protect it from Muslim campaigns, the Bishop Auduberto hid the relic in the cave inhabited by the hermit Juan de Atares, a mythical place where the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña would be founded.

For centuries a large number of visitors came here eager to contemplate the most important of the relics of Christianity

In 1399, in the time of the Aragonese King Martin the Human, the relic was kept in the Aljaferia of Zaragoza, until Alfonso the Magnanimous took it to his royal palace, and later, in 1437, it was deposited in the Cathedral of Valencia, where it is currently located

With respect to its historical authenticity, a meticulous study carried out in 1960 reveals that the upper cup belongs to a period between the century before Christ and the century of our era, and was most certainly made in a workshop in Egypt, Syria or in Palestine itself. Both the lower cup that serves as a leg and the union set with precious stones are clearly later.

The old monastery of San Juan de la Peña displays a replica of the Grail in Valencia. Click to enlarge.
IMG_20191104_130344-01.jpeg
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
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FireDragon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
mid-April 2023 Via Tolosana to Pamplona, Sept CF
Today I found a Spanish guidebook connected to Gronze.com which includes the Aragones Way and it looks like it is available in a hard copy and also online as a pdf for the first stage. There are two volumes and the first book details the Aragones.
I have a French guide book that includes the segment from Arles to Puente la Reina, and it is fantastic. Excellent purchase from Le Vieux Crayon.
 
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dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Generally well marked, but you have to keep your eyes open - Sod's Law that the one you miss is the one that takes you off the main route. Lumbier Gorge is worth a detour/day trip from Sangüesa and if you can, go to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña - you can walk but it is not an easy walk or ask the tourist office in Jaca to explain how to catch the shuttle bus (mainly used by employees) to get up there and back. It is a front runner for 'most scenic camino route', very beautiful and varied. Be well provisioned when you set out in the morning, not a lot in between the towns and villages but the stages are manageable, with good albergues (and cheap hotels) along the way. Buen camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
1. How well marked is the route from Somport to Puente la Reina? Despite having found my way along various Camino routes, I am notoriously adept at getting lost, even with a GPS blue dot. Thus, clear arrows and markings will be very helpful.
2. I will do research on the area, but are there specific recommendations of things to do/see in Zaragoza, as I plan to spend a day or two there on the way to Somport.
3. Any recommendations of books, either fiction or nonfiction, about the Aragon region?
TIA
We loved the Aragones. We found it well marked. Highlights were Jaca, where we spent two nights, San Juan de la Pena (the old monastery), and Javier. This was part of a long camino combo we did starting in Lourdes, then Oleron to Somport, then to Puente la Reina, Logrono, then south on the Ignaziano along the Ebro (walking the opposite way of the Camino del Ebro). We loved Zaragoza, but what also made it special was the walk in the city with a spectacular view of the cathedral. One of my wife's favorite stories was my determination to get a sello at the cathedral. I had heard that there's no hope. I must have gone back to the cathedral ten times before I found the priest who would give the sello. That was in a side office. He subjected me to a 20 minute personal sermon before he would stamp my credential. I savor that sello more than any other!
 

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