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On the Camino: One Day at a Time, one Photo at a Time 6.0

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FourSeasons

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
leaving Granon
sign
February 23, 2006

View attachment 109190

Serendipity and tea

All was was bitter cold/windy as I arrived again at the San Juan Baptista parish albergue in Granon on the CF. "Work in progress" read a note on the door.
At lunchtime two fellows who were repainting the sacristy appeared and kindly cooked for three. Later a young Spanish pilgrim, Carlos, arrived.

By dinnertime lack of heat was a
problem! We four wearing coats/hats prepared and ate arroz Cubano huddled together by the fireplace. Outside sleet fell/wind howled; inside cold penetrated.

After dinner drinking hot tea sitting in our sleeping bags atop floor mats Carlos and I chatted in English, French, and my limited Spanish. He at 18 wanted to "do good" and to "find himself" and was curious how I had "found my way".

Next morning Carlos and I walked up the Calle Mayor towards the sign pictured above. Shaking hands we wished each other "Buen camino" and continued our solitary journeys across the cold countryside.

...
One week later as I arrived in snowy Castrojeriz at the door of the San Esteban municipal albergue Carlos waved excitedly. He had indeed "found his way" as an ad hoc hospitalero. Thrilled with his new duties he asked "Hola Margaret what about a tea?" Served boiling hot in jam jars it was a mutual celebratory brew.

Basic shelter comfort, chance encounter serendipity, and sincere sharing are precious at any time or age.
..Long may that be so.
What a beautiful story. 💞 Hot tea and new found friendship warms the soul. Funny, I was going through my photos last night and came across this one from my first Camino September 2013. Is it? Yes, I believe it is. 😁 Buen Camino indeed.
0A11B9F6-6C2F-4B7F-984F-57713F8E2503.jpeg
 
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dick bird

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Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Apparently the local chapter of the Quadrophenia re-enactment club. This is just part of them, about a thousand (I am not exaggerating) scooters in solemn procession through Puente de Duero. As we stood and watched, mouths agape, a neighbour came out with her grandmother and daughter with a bucket of figs for us. The granddaughter was very shy.

DSC04414.JPG DSC04415.JPG
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
April 2012 Estella. This was one of my favorite stops for many reasons. We might be here while...

Sanctuario De Nuestra Senora de El Puy (just a bit off the Camino)

camino 940.JPG
This is breathtakingly beautiful, well worth a little climb. I have no doubt the good sisters had a hand in the design, it is the most feminine church I've ever seen. My photos don't do it justice--it's filled with a light that dazzles the soul. It's relatively modern (1929, Victor Eusa architect), with a preserved 18th century facade (sadly the church of 1085 long gone), and of course their statue--I spent quite a bit of time just staring at her (sorry, oddly none of my pictures turned out--just as well, a good reason to revisit). Stars are everywhere, to match the legend of the apparition of the Virgin. I'd read different accounts of whether you could stay with the sisters or not, and gave up on arranging that when I was assured by a local in Lorca that was not the case (but you never know, if you want to try)--so instead stayed in the parochial albergue of San Miguel, which is tied with the monastery at Ziortza as my favorite night in three months and multiple caminos. Things happen for a reason. Anyway, this was my first time I went more than a bit off the way*, and the entire walk was stopped every few feet by helpful locals and had to explain in my terrible accent that I was headed to the Basilica. I should have pinned a sign to my chest.

*on purpose that is
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
April 2012 Estella. This was one of my favorite stops for many reasons. We might be here while...

Sanctuario De Nuestra Senora de El Puy (just a bit off the Camino)

View attachment 109217
This is breathtakingly beautiful, well worth a little climb. I have no doubt the good sisters had a hand in the design, it is the most feminine church I've ever seen. My photos don't do it justice--it's filled with a light that dazzles the soul. It's relatively modern (1929, Victor Eusa architect), with a preserved 18th century facade (sadly the church of 1085 long gone), and of course their statue--I spent quite a bit of time just staring at her (sorry, oddly none of my pictures turned out--just as well, a good reason to revisit). Stars are everywhere, to match the legend of the apparition of the Virgin. I'd read different accounts of whether you could stay with the sisters or not, and gave up on arranging that when I was assured by a local in Lorca that was not the case (but you never know, if you want to try)--so instead stayed in the parochial albergue of San Miguel, which is tied with the monastery at Ziortza as my favorite night in three months and multiple caminos. Things happen for a reason. Anyway, this was my first time I went more than a bit off the way*, and the entire walk was stopped every few feet by helpful locals and had to explain in my terrible accent that I was headed to the Basilica. I should have pinned a sign to my chest.

*on purpose that is
Smallest_Sparrow,
This is indeed appears to be a splendid space! Next time perhaps the link below will help you stay with the Sisters.

 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
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Smallest_Sparrow,
This is indeed appears to be a splendid space! Next time perhaps the link below will help you stay with the Sisters.

When I walked no one answered my emails and the phone # I had didn’t work. When I asked in Lorca I was told (to the best of my understanding which is pretty basic) that the guest house was closed, part of the answer was the sisters were all getting on in years (I definitely understood that much) and either they temporarily lost their help (younger sisters? Other staff?) or permanently (it wasn’t worth figuring out which I was being told at that point). At any rate I decided against pounding on their door unannounced and was lucky, I really enjoyed San Miguel. 🙂

I will admit to sort of lurking outside the monastery when I visited the Basilica, just in case I saw someone to ask about a room…but I was meant to stay in San Miguel, some of my funniest blog entries were from Pamplona and Estella, as the Camino and I came to an understanding
 

mspath

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Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Logroño
Parque del Espolón
roses

photo taken October 28, 2014

rosa, Camino de Santiago%0A.jpg

Do appreciate these roses

While walking we should take time to appreciate all 'roses' wherever they bloom; however these in Logroño are special.

Bred/developed at the Pepinieres-Guerinais in Brittany, France, by Michel Adam; 2012 in Logroño they were officially named
rosa, Camino de Santiago

Flourishing now not only in Logroño but elsewhere along pilgrim paths I, too, would like to plant some on our French hillside overlooking the Marne.
 
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FourSeasons

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
CF August 10, 2019 between Samos and Sarria. Note the calendar in the window pane. I would love to know what year.
Do you ever get a tickle in your tummy when you’re walking through a small area that has signs of life but it’s so quiet and not a soul around? 🤷🏻‍♀️ I do.
213EE215-A853-4302-B7EB-E9030E964335.jpeg
 
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SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Sabine,
This is a great shot of a memorable path!
When in 2011 were you there? I too
climbed in 2011 perhaps our paths crossed? What fun it would have been to meet.

That would have been a wonderful meeting indeed.
I just checked the dates and I walked to O Cebreiro on the 10th of May. A very short day for me from Vega de Valcarce .
Seeing I only started from Roncesvalles this was my first " steep climb " of my first Camino.I probably overestimated the difficulty of this climb because it was quite doable. I could have gone further but I decided to stay anyway. Unlike many others I actually liked the Xunta albergue in O Cebreiro. Not fully occupied though that day.
 

dick bird

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CF August 10, 2019 between Samos and Sarria. Note the calendar in the window pane. Do you ever get a tickle in your tummy when you’re walking through a small area that has signs of life but it’s so quiet and not a soul around? 🤷🏻‍♀️ I do.
View attachment 109232

The Halted Moment


Wha hasna turn'd inby a sunny street
And fund alang its length nae folk were there;
And heard his step fa' steadily and clear
Nor wauken ocht but schedows at his feet.
Shuther to shuther in the reemlin heat
The houses seem'd to hearken and to stare;
But a' were doverin whaur they stude and were
Like wa's ayont the echo o' time's beat.
Wha hasna thocht whan atween stanes sae still,
That had been biggit up for busyness,
He has come wanderin into a place
Lost, and forgotten, and unchangeable;
And thocht the far-off traffic sounds to be
The weary waters o' mortality.
William Soutar

Written in Scots, but close enough to our dialect of English to get the gist. I often feel like this when we walk through an abandoned or half-deserted village in Galicia. And yes, it sends a shiver down my spine when I read this poem. I know exactly what you are talking about.
 
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dick bird

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The door to the albergue in Ciguñuela on the Madrid, 16 Sept 2018. It is the former school-teacher's house. Some of the albergues are repurposed school houses, which is a nice idea but a touch sad because it only emphasises the depopulation of rural areas in Spain. It was a pleasant little dormitory town, something of an artists' colony if the number of outdoor sculptures and artworks is anything to go by, but don't expect a meal before 9 o'clock at night.

DSC04426.JPG
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Roses, Vasco between Beasain and Segura. The color seemed especially vivid because the sun was coming out after two and a half days of rain. Could this be an old friend Dublin Bay? Probably not, but it was lovely!
View attachment 109243
Your image may be closer to the view of these photos of the Dublin Bay rose...
whetever, I hope they have a perfume. Some day, a visit to St Anne's Park will resolve that question!
98854C68-D2FF-4AA6-87A9-16487FFB561E.jpeg
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
The door to the albergue in Ciguñuela on the Madrid, 16 Sept 2018. It is the former school-teacher's house. Some of the albergues are repurposed school houses, which is a nice idea but a touch sad because it only emphasises the depopulation of rural areas in Spain. It was a pleasant little dormitory town, something of an artists' colony if the number of outdoor sculptures and artworks is anything to go by, but don't expect a meal before 9 o'clock at night.

View attachment 109242
On the Salvador, in Pajares, I think the Albergue was either the school or the schoolteacher's house in a previous life. The view from the back windows was far better than any celluloid screen...changing from moment to moment after a storm.
.
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles

The Halted Moment


Wha hasna turn'd inby a sunny street
And fund alang its length nae folk were there;
And heard his step fa' steadily and clear
Nor wauken ocht but schedows at his feet.
Shuther to shuther in the reemlin heat
The houses seem'd to hearken and to stare;
But a' were doverin whaur they stude and were
Like wa's ayont the echo o' time's beat.
Wha hasna thocht whan atween stanes sae still,
That had been biggit up for busyness,
He has come wanderin into a place
Lost, and forgotten, and unchangeable;
And thocht the far-off traffic sounds to be
The weary waters o' mortality.
William Soutar

Written in Scots, but close enough to our dialect of English to get the gist. I often feel like this when we walk through an abandoned or half-deserted village in Galicia. And yes, it sends a shiver down my spine when I read this poem. I know exactly what you are talking about.
And another, Ozymandias... and so many more in different cultures...
 
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Various routes...
Sorry, two today. Another rose, my absolute favorite, Cecille Brunner - not the climber, but the extravagant bush variety, with many flowers on one stem. It's an vigorous and very fragrant rose, and so generous. I got very excited when I saw it on the Invierno, on the climb up from Belesar. An excellent excuse to pause.
 

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mspath

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Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Astorga
Bishop's Palace
interior

photos taken March 10, 2007

Astoria, Bishop's Palace interior.jpg

Designed from 1889 by Antonio Gaudi the Bishop's Palace, now known as the Palacio de Gaudi, is a musum. Some interior spaces contain original furnishings and distinctive tiles.
special wall tiles.JPG
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Astorga
Bishop's Palace
interior

photos taken March 10, 2007

View attachment 109276

Designed from 1889 by Antonio Gaudi the Bishop's Palace, now known as the Palacio de Gaudi, is a musum. Some interior spaces contain original furnishings and distinctive tiles.
View attachment 109277
I called my patchwork of caminos “my very Gaudi Camino” and saw all of his buildings except Bodegas Guell (and would have seen that except I got lost too many times trying to walk from Terrassa to Montserrat.
 
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dick bird

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Meseta, with pilgrim. I don't think anywhere else in the world has that combination of that deep, cornflower blue and golden yellow like a lioness's back. Sept 17 2018.

DSC04431.JPG
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
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May 2012 Norte/Primitivo transition

When I arrived at the Monasterio de Valdedios, I was told there were no other guests and no pilgrims in the albergue, and the brothers were essentially packing to leave--but I was welcome to join them in prayer. I of course immediately envisioned us walking across a moonlit night to El Conventin, the church of San Salvador consecrated in 892. Be still my beating heart!

IMG_1874.jpg
It was neither in San Salvador nor Santa Maria (1218). It was in a room in the monks' private quarters set up as their chapel. So while it didn't fill my desire for pre-Romanesque adventure it was very kind of them to invite an outsider into their private space while they were preoccupied with a move it seemed they didn't relish, and a day they weren't normally open to guests (I was used to the idea of "dark days" for shows from living in Las Vegas, but it seemed funny to me Spain's churches also had them). So a very special day nonetheless.
camino 3878.JPG camino 3879.JPG

Their retablo--the upper piece represents God's Providence, as well as the Trinity (the triangle)...sorry conspiracy fans ;)
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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May 2012 Norte/Primitivo transition

When I arrived at the Monasterio de Valdedios, I was told there were no other guests and no pilgrims in the albergue, and the brothers were essentially packing to leave--but I was welcome to join them in prayer. I of course immediately envisioned us walking across a moonlit night to El Conventin, the church of San Salvador consecrated in 892. Be still my beating heart!

View attachment 109336
It was neither in San Salvador nor Santa Maria (1218). It was in a room in the monks' private quarters set up as their chapel. So while it didn't fill my desire for pre-Romanesque adventure it was very kind of them to invite an outsider into their private space while they were preoccupied with a move it seemed they didn't relish, and a day they weren't normally open to guests (I was used to the idea of "dark days" for shows from living in Las Vegas, but it seemed funny to me Spain's churches also had them). So a very special day nonetheless.
View attachment 109337 View attachment 109338

Their retablo--the upper piece represents God's Providence, as well as the Trinity (the triangle)...sorry conspiracy fans ;)
Smallest_Sparrow,
You had a very special day/evening indeed sharing those private moments/minutes with the monks.
Thank you for sharing your memory with us.
 
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A momentary break in the rain on March 22, 2017 just before Bon Xesús on the way to Finisterre. A stormy day but beautiful in many ways. Arriving cold and soaked in Olveira, I was grateful for the warm albergue at Casa Loncho and the fireplace in the adjoining cafe.

View attachment 109344
And maybe a bowl of their hot lentil soup! Which we enjoyed on our arrival there but on a warm sunny day, sitting outside in June, 2018! 😋
 

mspath

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Agés
Casa Carocol

photo taken February 13, 2009

Ages, Casa Caracol 13.02.2009.jpg

A snail's place and pace

Beneath a clear February sky crossing the Montes Oca to Agés on frozen mud was cold, but relatively easy.

Most albergues were closed. I was alone in a private pilgrim place, Casa Caricol/House of the Snail. For supper, Paz, the gracious hospitalera, prepared a delicious thick hot vegetable/pasta soup on the wood-burning stove; there was no other heat.

Wearing knitted hat, muffler and gloves in the frigid dorm I pondered how important it is on the Camino and in life to just relax and take it as it is, to let it be. Easy does it. Be a snail.

"Slow but determined" could be my motto.
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
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2019
From Ferrol, the end of Day 1 on Camino Ingles

AM-JKLVis89Gj3LT3vQPhvIeL_wluEPeyCR42HvRV10Q7ERAHqG8BtSjwfCyzLd2CM3OnlqzOfCtqNGQTGa8Wv1r2Ai88u-G47HvIqzo9lnmPwzZh6oTSkRxa1aD0jVTwWQGwVwwfQIiPbQPnjHKfv_7UglJ=w1258-h943-no
 
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Various routes...
on frozen mud
And then it thaws. A month later....voila!
IMG_7520.JPG

I've posted this photo before, but it's a favorite. My walk that day was cold and challenging slog through the bog, and yet a fond memory. Followed by the coldest night ever in San Juan de Ortega. (I should have kept going to Ages, but was done for the day and the thought of Sopa de Ajo was enticing. While the soup is still offered, unfortunately with the loss of the padre, that albergue seems to have lost its caritas - the cold was not merely physical.)

I pondered how important it is on the Camino and in life to just relax and take it as it is, to let it be. Easy does it. Be a snail.
Amen.
 
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dick bird

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Castromonte,on the Camino de Madrid, Sept 17 2019, the albergue, once a primary school. If you enlarge the image, you'll see this on the side of the building:

Cuando el ocaso del sol
te muestre
el camino hacia la mañana,
cuando tus huesos cansados,
se hallan en este, tu hogar;
lava tus heridos
calma tu hambre,
sacia tu sed,
y recuerda
la promesa que te trajo aqui

Rapper 2016 y Fran Soto

When the beating down of the sun
shows you
the way to the morning,
when your weary bones
find themselves here, at home;
wash your wounds
satisfy your hunger,
quench your thirst,
and remember
the promise that brings you here.

We went into what might once have been a town to ask for the key. In the bar they told us they would phone Alfonso, and he would bring the key. We waited outside for some while. Eventually a very apologetic Alfonso turned up, explaining that he hadn't heard his phone because he was on his tractor. To be fair to him, it was a very noisy tractor.
DSC04439.JPG
 
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mspath

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July 2012 Hermitage ruins above Sant Joan chapel
my one stage of Camino Catalan, which holds the all time record for number of times lost in a single stage (the lost bit was 100% my fault and totally avoidable)

View attachment 109378
Smallest_Sparrow,
That passage through the ruins appears a bit precarious. Was it?
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Smallest_Sparrow,
That passage through the ruins appears a bit precarious. Was it?
they have those pretty substantial guard/hand rails but I don't know that I'd suggest it for those afraid of heights or prone to dizziness. But the trail up to the chapel was wide and if I recall correctly (big if) a combination of wide dirt path and some concrete. I don't mind heights but I wouldn't want to try to squeeze past a big crowd of people on the hermitage part. I don't remember there being any warning signs so I imagine lots of people of all ages wander up there

Edit: I should have said “tiny bit off the Way”…assume that for 80% of my posts. This was above the monastery on Montserrat which is on the Way
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
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Cheating but to give a better idea of the many wonderful hikes around Montserrat (in a do-over I'd stay at the Abbey's inn for at least 2 nights)...
some of the walk is gravel or dirt paths, pretty wide and not too much of an incline, and several of the locations can be reached by the little train.
camino plus 680.JPG
I think you can see in the original picture I posted that there's a wide road next to Sant Joan's chapel, here's another of the start to the hermit dwellings.
camino 3 3128.JPG
it's later in the climb to the hermit's dwellings that are probably not best for those anxious about heights, or small enclosed spaces as the hermits seemed short
camino 3 3120.JPG camino plus 678.JPG
 
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mspath

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Santo Domingo de la Calzada

photos taken November 1, 2012

Symbolic chickens

Domingo was an 11th c. hermit devoted to improving the pilgrimage route/ calzada. Buried within the church he later became a saint and the village took his name. During the 12th c. the local confraternity, Cofradia del Santo, was formed to help/host pilgrims as they still do.

Due to a legend of a young male pilgrim's life being saved through the assistance of immortal chickens Santo Domingo himself is usually depicted accompanied by such birds.

cathedral coop.jpg

Within the cathedral this historic coop houses live chickens (changed every two weeks!).

garden coop.jpg

However in the Casa del Santo garden a recent structure shelters the future 'church coop choir'; their lively chorus announcing daybreak to all within the albergue dorm!

symbolic chicks.jpg

Indeed over time chickens have become THE symbol of the town.
 
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Nick B

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Why are they changed? Is it stressful to the birds (I imagine so being inside).

What a wonderful thing for a town to be known —happy chickens.

Sunday roast dinner requirement......

Tunnel in Valenca by memory just before bridge crossing into Spain, both Valenca and Tui amazing towns.
 

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Past OR future Camino
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? CF 2022
Sobrado dos Monxes.
The Monastery of Santa Maria de Sobrado was built in 952, it was dedicated to San Salvador. It soon rose to prosperity in the late 10thC when the abbot of Sobrado became a Bishop in Santiago. By the 12thC it was abandoned. Eventually the Cistercians began monastic life there in 1142, it was the Cistertians who established a pilgrim hospital within the monastery. The church was added at the end of the 17thC. By 1834 the monastery, along with most monasteries in Spain, was stripped of its wealth by royal decree.
It was an interesting experience staying the night in the albergue. We had a window shut/open experience with the one window in the room with a fellow pilgrim. We wanted the window open, he didn't! The dormitory room was packed and quite a smelly experience, luckily we won the window argument. ;) June, 2018.
20180610_133553.jpg
 

dick bird

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Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Sobrado dos Monxes.
The Monastery of Santa Maria de Sobrado was built in 952, it was dedicated to San Salvador. It soon rose to prosperity in the late 10thC when the abbot of Sobrado became a Bishop in Santiago. By the 12thC it was abandoned. Eventually the Cistercians began monastic life there in 1142, it was the Cistertians who established a pilgrim hospital within the monastery. The church was added at the end of the 17thC. By 1834 the monastery, along with most monasteries in Spain, was stripped of its wealth by royal decree.
It was an interesting experience staying the night in the albergue. We had a window shut/open experience with the one window in the room with a fellow pilgrim. We wanted the window open, he didn't! The dormitory room was packed and quite a smelly experience, luckily we won the window argument. ;) June, 2018.
View attachment 109424
It's had a bit of a facelift since then, and looking a lot shinier. We stayed and attended vespers, very beautiful. It is still functioning as a monastery with about a dozen or more monks. I slept next to the window. It stayed open.

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dick bird

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Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Canal de Castilla. A grandiose scheme intended to give Tierra del Campos an outlet to the Atlantic ports to export wheat. Begun in 1758, it was actually completed in 1850, but without ever reaching the sea. Then the railways came and made it redundant. I have just discovered that the Camino Francés actually follows it for about 6kms. This was taken early morning as we left Medina del Rioseco, 19 Sept, 2018.

DSC04452.JPG
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
window shut/open experience
In my experience the “open” faction always won, and I froze for my first four weeks despite sleeping in all of my clothes, including down vest and gortex jacket in a sleeping bag rated for sleeping outdoors in snow...which was sort of what i was doing since the windows were open while it was snowing :eek:. When I was in Zarautz it was difficult not to steal this sign from the albergue (youth hostel) to post everywhere I stopped
IMG_1430.jpg
 
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2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Sunday roast dinner requirement.....
🥺
Hopefully just to give them some air and grass under their little feet.

Looking up at the old lit fortress in Puebla de Sanabria at night was a delight. May 2018.
The lit fortress and the color of the sky are a beautiful combination.

It's very pleasant to wander in Santiago, and not only near the cathedral. Santa Susana is in a clearing atop the hill in Alameda Park. Once very important, now it feels a little forlorn - but is still very beautiful.
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mspath

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Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
It's had a bit of a facelift since then, and looking a lot shinier. We stayed and attended vespers, very beautiful. It is still functioning as a monastery with about a dozen or more monks. I slept next to the window. It stayed open.

View attachment 109427
Dick Bird,
Glad to learn that all is a bit shinier now! Here is another memory from March 2007 of vespers at Sobrado dos Monxes in this earlier post
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
View attachment 109437

Statue of Goya in Zaragoza. Camino del Ebro 2013.
I visited as a pilgrim and another year as a " regular " tourist but on both occasions I did not particularly like the general atmosphere.
My first stay in Spain, two months in early 1994, was in a barrio on the outskirts of Zaragoza. The city centre holds fond memories, more for the people I was with, but that does make a difference to how we experience life, doesn't it?
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I find door knockers endlessly fascinating. This particularly splendid specimen was in a wall somewhere between Noja and Guermes. Guermes is an iconic albergue, and I seem to remember somebody, maybe somebody who posts on this thread, saying that they didn't really like it very much. I get that. The founder has done some wonderful things and gives a very long talk about his life's work, but something in me recoils from charisma while at the same time feeling distinctly unworthy for having negative feelings about soomeone who has obviously made such a contribution to humanity. It is a beautiful albergue, with well kept gardens and quiet places for contemplation, an atmosphere of serenity and calm and the food is good and served generously. So why am I so churlish about it? Judge for yourself.
DSC00035 (2).JPG
19 Sept 2015.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
to remember somebody,
Me. I’ll shorten my hilarious blog entry to note that pilgrims make or break an experience and provide the why without my joking comments.

Great show was made of assigning me to the “chicas” room—where upon arrival there was an obvious male in one of the beds ignored by the helper showing me my spot—I don’t mind co-ed but this was a warning that rules might be lax. The gardens were filled with cigarette smoke (not judging but it gives me migraines), including where the laundry hangs, people considered smoking in doorways of the bedrooms and library to be “outside” and finally, in a singular experience in 3 months, a second male was in the “chicas” room later that night, be he wasn’t sleeping. 😳 at least in the military women would go to the men’s tent for that sort of thing. I didn’t mind the religious/social justice pitch, and I was inspired to try to see San Toribo, but I left at dawn and walked a unhappy double thanks to Guermes, and still in a bad mood was too grumpy to appreciate santillana Del Mar (I’ve walked other doubles but this one was fueled by anger which is never a good thing). Only Comillas was worse, which again was a great little albergue but a less than wonderful group of fellow pilgrims.

Edit: angry at myself at first for the wrong reason, by Comillas I’d realized the right reason to be angry at myself (good thing because Comillas gave me a chance to reinforce). I was angry at first “for being so stupid to believe what others said about a place” but eventually (after a double to SdM, then 1 and 1/2 after Comillas providing time for reflection) realized each place will always be different, and forcing an expectation on something with so many variables was what caused my disappointment and then anger. Albergues live in the moment, even more so than dogs
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
4 June Primitivo. Ruins of the pilgrim hospital at Montouto (built 1357, used until relatively late)

camino 2 2957.JPG
with nearby Dolmen and of course the ever present wind turbines...not my best photo of each of them but my best with all three together
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
What a perfect description. The same place can be fundamentally different one day to the next, depending on who one ends up with. And who the hospis are.
It depends not only on the mix of people but also on the weather and the actual structure. What "works" in summer can be chaos in a blizzard and vice versa.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
What a perfect description. The same place can be fundamentally different one day to the next, depending on who one ends up with. And who the hospis are.
Yes. Realization that my odds of meshing with pilgrims increased if I stayed in places less likely to attract a party crowd (parochial) or small with the owners sleeping at the albergue. Although when I signed in at San Miguel in Estella the hospitalera asked me three times if I understood San Miguel was the parochial albergue…guess I must look like a party animal 🙂

Edit: each time she reminded me the place was church run, I’d reply “yes, I’d like a top bunk if possible please”
 
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FourSeasons

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
Yes. Realization that my odds of meshing with pilgrims increased if I stayed in places less likely to attract a party crowd (parochial) or small with the owners sleeping at the albergue. Although when I signed in at San Miguel in Estella the hospitalera asked me three times if I understood San Miguel was the parochial albergue…guess I must look like a party animal 🙂

Edit: each time she reminded me the place was church run, I’d reply “yes, I’d like a top bunk if possible please”
Curious. Did you get a top bunk, you party animal. 😂
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Villarmentaro de Campos.

photo taken November 14, 2013

Villamenteros de Campos 2013.jpg

November 2013 on the CF I met by chance a Korean photographer hired to film the solitude of long distance walkers. Unprepared, trying to cover 30km a day, carrying more than 8 k.in her pack plus a heavy camera and a notebook computer, she was overloaded.

She really needed a sherpa; however for 3 days I was her shepherd(ress). We stayed in smaller albergues, ate well, walked 20km max per day, took long siestas and laughed a lot.

She particularly enjoyed shooting this 'art brut' pilgrim sculpture within a meadow near Villarmentaro de Campos.

Our dual meander was cut short when due in Leon while 80km away she took a bus to get back on schedule!

...Easy does it is a more relaxing attitude.
 
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SabineP

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some and then more. see my signature.
Bruma.jpg

Camino Ingles 2014 , second week of April. When there was only one albergue in Hospital de Bruma and no restaurant in the village. So , gracious hospitalero Benigno called a restaurant in the neighbourhood to deliver dinner at a certain time.

This was my aperitif. A can of beer from the vending machine and a bag of chocolates that I managed not to open during the day ;) .
Until 8pm pm that night I was the only pilgrim in the albergue so the hospitalero assigned me a bed next to the outer wall and window on the groundfloor so I could always make contact , if needed, with him or his wife ( living across the albergue ) .So considerate of him.
But then came in two Spanish cyclists and they were assigned to two beds on the first floor far away in another corner. I remember they made quite some noise with the " click-clacking " of their cyclingshoes. I tried to make some smalltalk to them but we just did not seem to click ( Unlike their shoes. Ha! ) I guess the fact that they were not able anymore to order the same dinner from the restaurant did not help.
 
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dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Yes. Realization that my odds of meshing with pilgrims increased if I stayed in places less likely to attract a party crowd (parochial) or small with the owners sleeping at the albergue. Although when I signed in at San Miguel in Estella the hospitalera asked me three times if I understood San Miguel was the parochial albergue…guess I must look like a party animal 🙂

Edit: each time she reminded me the place was church run, I’d reply “yes, I’d like a top bunk if possible please”
I think she might have been saying 'this is a donativo' albergue, or maybe she was confused by someone actually asking for a top bunk. We did two weeks at San Miguel as hospis in 2018 and I know that the parish runs and finances the albergue entirely independently. Most of the party animals stay at the muni, next to the bridge. Of course, when she said 'parish run', she may also have been referring to Sabino and Ferdinando, our two parish contacts, who were solicitous to a high degree, they couldn't have been more helpful. The only time we saw the parish priest was when someone accidentally set off the burglar alarm.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Grajal de Campos, last night on the Madrid. This, believe it or not, is the back of the albergue. The albergue is in what used to be the stables behind this Renaissance period palace. We discovered that there is a little door that leads into the once ancestral home of the Counts (or possibly Marquises) of Grajal. Four of us had the run of the place full of corridors, sweeping staircases, carved fireplaces and a window overlooking the nave of the parish church. We half expected Scooby doo and Shaggy to emerge from random doorways pursued by white-sheeted spooks.

DSC04470.JPG
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
The craftsmanship and design of this offering box in the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, caught my eye.

Bread of the poor of San Antonio begs petitions to... ?

View attachment 109515
i wonder if the left and right sides each apply to the center panel: "bread of the poor of San Antonio" and "your petitions to San Antonio" i.e. you are donating to the poor as part of your petition
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Greetings fellow peregrinos. We’re having a short break away from home to help one of our daughters while she recovers from an operation, so will not be posting any photos for about a week. Will still be checking in each day and reacting to all your posts and great photos.
Buen Camino
Anne & Pat
Sending wishes of quick and complete recovery for your daughter!
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Greetings fellow peregrinos. We’re having a short break away from home to help one of our daughters while she recovers from an operation, so will not be posting any photos for about a week. Will still be checking in each day and reacting to all your posts and great photos.
Buen Camino
Anne & Pat
We hope all goes well with you and your family. God bless.
 

Anik2001

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Frances (2017), future: Frances again (2020)well hopefully 2021...
Two for one tonight. Between Atapuerca and Cardeñuela Riopico. That peculiar place really made me curious. What is the meaning of this rocks spiral? 1653F75F-2F4E-4B89-9734-E7668E0D6327.jpeg

The quote I understood!
7FBF0B14-E57A-4DCA-86EA-E0B40A2FD44D.jpeg
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
east of the Cruz de Santo Toribio
Casa de los Dioses

photo taken November 23, 2013

All we need is love%0A.jpg

All we need is love

This vibrant graffiti partly covered an ad hoc shelter at the Casa de los Dioses, a remote haven of camino caritas.

On the inland CF path west of Santibanez de Valdeiglesias/east of the Cruz de Santo Toribio amidst a vast plain with sweeping vistas David Vidal created/maintained his simple oasis.

He offered friendly conversation plus a seat and coffee, tea, juices, fruits and cookies to those who passed by; all that was so willingly provided he carried in, for there was neither running water nor a garden.

What was most plentiful at the
Casa de los Dioses was David's special spirit and unconditional, selfless love.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Greetings fellow peregrinos. We’re having a short break away from home to help one of our daughters while she recovers from an operation, so will not be posting any photos for about a week. Will still be checking in each day and reacting to all your posts and great photos.
Buen Camino
Anne & Pat
Anne & Pat,
May your daughter feel better soon. Your digital family will be thinking of the three of you each day also.
 
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Various routes...
Many healing wishes for your daughter, Anne & Pat. The rest of us will just have to post photos on your behalf. ;)

1 June...not even bothering to post camino or
Wait, what?
The rest of the way (without the signage) is con oso?! Sign me up.

Never seen an oso, but one frigid morning in March, I rescued this small shivering being from the icy doorjamb of the closed San Nicolas Albergue and put her on a branch where the warmth of the morning sun would hopefully be able to warm her up.
IMG_7717.JPG IMG_7718.JPG
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
The rest of the way (without the signage) is con oso?! Sign me up.
I know, right? I’m clearly prejudiced but I loved pretty much everything about the Primitivo. I was confused by the stone markers at the divide between Hospitales and the other path, made my decision about which way based on a map, and knew I was headed correctly with the sign. Just that picture was all I emailed home that night to let everyone know I’d crossed without incident (and sadly no 🐻)
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Greetings fellow peregrinos. We’re having a short break away from home to help one of our daughters while she recovers from an operation, so will not be posting any photos for about a week. Will still be checking in each day and reacting to all your posts and great photos.
Buen Camino
Anne & Pat
Wishing your daughter and yourself all the best. A good recovery and safe travels!
 
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