Immediately after Logroño we drive on a luxury class Way of St. James.
A beautiful, freshly asphalted path with modern designed scallop signs, benches and freshly planted little trees - This is how the path presents itself from Logroño to a reservoir. Then the Way of St. James becomes a normal hiking trail, which leads first through a small forest and then through vineyards.
In Nájera we crossed the Rio Najerilla.
In the old town directly on the Way of St. James is the monastery.
Through the vineyards of the province of Rioja. After a few kilometers, the alternative route for cyclists branches off on secondary roads to Cañas. It is always uphill and the pace slows down. So it becomes noon when we arrived there.
In Cañas we visited the gothic monastery of Santa Maria de Cañas -
- a Cistercian abbey founded in 1170.
The lack of sleep suddenly became very noticeable for me at midday. I was totally tired and had to rest under a tree in my sleeping bag for half an hour. But then my strength returned. In my imagination, that was the miracle of Cañas.
The road led us to Calzada, where we arrived in the afternoon. There is a chicken coop in the church there, which goes back to a
Unfortunately, museums and churches in Spain are generally closed from 12:00 to 16:00. What a pity!
The legend of the 'hanged man unhanged' has subsequently kept me busy and I have looked into the matter and have written an
for the magazine 'Ultreïa', the Friends of the Swiss Way of St James.
Years later, when I was on foot in 2013 and spent the night in Calzada, I was able to visit the church and admire the famous chicken coop.
Photos of this can be found on the page
The small town of Calzada is situated on a river called Oja (which is puny in summer = hardly carries any water).
The whole region takes its name from this river
Rio Oja = Rioja
We drove about 20km further to Belorado to a hostel run by Swiss volunteers.
All the places were occupied. We were accommodated in the associated alternative accommodation - in a former garage.
There was a real bed with a mattress and even a pillow - what a luxury. I slept wonderfully. Whether there was snoring all around - that's possible - I don't know.
I have written more about this in an
St. Mary's Church, to which the hostel belongs, is also still inhabited by storks.
Photos: Gerhard Eichinger
The picture 'Monasterio Cañas' comes from the brochure I received during the visit