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Canfranc may rise again


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Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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That is a great story!! LTfit and I slept in Canfranc, but we missed the tour because we were eating lunch and lost track of time. I was so bummed. We did hear all about how the kids in town for years were able to sneak into the station and play to their hearts' content. And then one day a French taxi driver got in somehow and found a huge stash of papers documenting all of the stolen gold that the Nazis sent out through Spain and the materiel that Franco supplied them in return.

What a huge undertaking it will be to restore that building. Wonder if they will have special pilgrim prices in the hotel? ;)


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Camino(s) past & future
Frances, via de la Plata, Sanabres, camino de Levante, Norte, Primitivo, Ingles, Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra, part chemin in France, der Oekumenische Pilgerweg/via Regia, via Tolosana, Aragones, 2017 April/May Lisbon to SdC
'From our own correspondent' radio programme on Radio 4 omitted two important points.... namely that there is an SNCF bus replacement service to assure continuity of service and secondly that the building has been beautifully reroofed with added glass pinnacles. I must say that when I walked past last year there was no sign of further impending restoration. I was able to look around from the rear without hindrance (and could have gained access...) The Camino Aragones via San Juan de la Pena was superb.... No reference was made in the programme to the actual Somport Pass which is why the train crossing is there in the first place....


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My wife and I are headed up there this Tuesday to start walking. We will be finding our way from Madrid. So any tips are welcome. Hoping to go the whole way through to Santiago. Saludos!



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Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I thought the station was restored into a hotel since I passed some years ago. Hoped to get back and stay there but I guess it will take some time before it is an option.


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Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
Wow, that looks really run down now. Stopped there for a couple of days 15/20 years ago when i walked the GR10. We could just go into the old station and look around, it was all in pretty good nick then. But what i do remember more was they were driving a flock of sheep through the town up into the pastures in the mountains. I have never seen so many sheep in all my life. They were the width of the main road and footpaths (which is pretty wide) and as far as the eye could see in either direction. It took about 15 minutes for the flock to work its way through the town. All controlled by 3 shepherds and about 10 dogs, the noise was deafening as apart from the bleating every 10 sheep seemed to have a bell on it.
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Los Arcos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2017)
I visited Canfranc Estacion in late November 2008, on one of the two (very small) trains from Zaragoza which travel there each day. The trip took 4 1/2 hours and cost €12.57. I had forgotten to allow for the fact that it would be snowing in the high Pyrenees at that time of year. The staff at Canfranc had cleared about 20 yards of platform but our train (myself and 2 other passengers) sailed past and I had to trudge back through snow to get to the exit and the coach which SNCF send (they closed the French side of the line in 1970.)

The coach driver appeared after about 10 minutes, clutching two bulging carrier bags full of cigarettes (cheaper in Spain than in France) and drove me, his only passenger, up to Col Somport, the border, and then down, via 85 hairpin bends on a road knee-deep in snow, to Oloron St-Marie to catch a train to Pau.

There were large signs outside the station then announcing its refurbishment and re-opening, so I wouldn't hold your breath!

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