Los Arcos to Logrono
We taxied the early part of today’s leg, but caught the Camino before Viana and walked into the our new favorite Camino town. In the end, we walked about 15 kilometers (nine to ten miles) and finished the day in Logrono, where we are taking a rest day tomorrow.
We need it. Badly. Very badly. It was nearly 100 degrees on the trail today. No kidding.
We have mixed feelings about Logrono, but we’d rather talk about our new favorite town, Viana.
We absolutely loved it.
The Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Asuncion was established in Viana in the 13th century and eventually named after the virgin mother as a result of the plague of 1599. During that year, so many Viana residents were dying of the plague that the leaders decided to name the saint for the city based on the first date that there were no fatalities from the plaque. Mid-year 1600, a day passed with no deaths on Mary Magdaline’s day.
Viola Viana: Mary it is!!
Mary became the city’s saint and the church was named in her honor.
The church blew us away. It was another tear filled stroll through Catholicism. The art, the structure, the beauty of that church is amazing. We loved it.
And down the street set the remains of 13th century Iglesia de San Pedro. Wow–a very cool place.
It was at the ruins of Iglesia de San Pedro where we met Geogie, certainly the richest man in the world.
Georgie lives in Viana in a small apartment located between the two church sites. He is at least 80.
He is a proud man, who was quick to point us to see the ruins, after our tour of the Santa Maria church.
He stopped his conversation with three friends to tell us that the most beautiful church was not the gorgeous Santa Maria, but rather the San Pedro.
“I am the richest man in the world,” he explained. “I see this every day.”
He and his friends, as they have done for decades, stopped their passionate discussion long enough to point us the way to the San Pedro, then allowed us to take a picture. Just Georgie and his friend, who was never named.
A life in Viana, is certainly the most beautiful life there is.
Georgie knows it.
His small pension takes care of his meager apartment, his morning coffee, his afternoon bocadillo, and his evening meal del dia.
He happily exclaimed that he was “rich.” And he is.
The walk from Viana to Logrono is through grape vineyards and into the city’s industrial zone. We sang through some that walk–weakly.
We were finally feeling like accomplishment when we reached the foot bath near the Pilgrim”s bridge.
The foot bath is actually a fifty or sixty foot long canal. It is holds water about six inches deep, and it is a great spot for weary Pilgrims to cool their feet. We enjoyed splashing each other there.
We did it, and it helped. Then we trudged over the bridge, nearly being pushed into traffic by a Spaniard who obviously had places to be and people to meet.
We found our hotel–another true beauty–and settled in for the night. The customary three hour nap, dinner near the plaza, a quick tour of the cathedral (less impressive to us than the one in Viana), and we’re now in bed.
We expected Logrono to be a cool city. We’re a little disappointed.
According to historians, Logrono was a center of much fighting throughout the centuries, and has therefore lost many of its medieval buildings and charms.
We will see tomorrow if this city can change our minds.
A Day Off
We are taking tomorrow off, and will sleep in and see what cool things we can find in Logrono. There must be something special we are missing.
Until then, Buen Camino