The town of Nájera spreads out on both sides of the Rio Najerilla. The interesting and oldest part is located between the river and the rugged rocky massif, against which nestles the famous monastery of Santa María la Real .
Already in the 11th century, under King Sancho el Mayor, Nájera became an important stop on the Way of Saint James. There were two other kings of the Navarre-Nájera Empire who ruled here, namely Garcia él de Nájera, the monastery founder and Sancho IV.
Entrance to the monastery of Santa Maria la Real.
Pay a virtual visit to the monastery! St. María la Real
Here nest many storks.
Just past Nájera, we enter the Rioja wine region. Due to the cold spring of 2013, the mountains are still covered with snow and the hiking temperatures are mild (8 degrees in the morning, 17 in the afternoon).
We stop for lunch in the small town of Azofra. Because of the monastery visit in Nájera, we have only covered about a quarter of today's stage to Santo Domingo.
We rest on the benches under the canopy of the church Nuestra Senora de los Angeles.
In the afternoon we hike up hill, down hill through the Rioja region. The sun warms us in the quite low temperatures for this time of year. From Azofra we first go to Ciruñea.
We cross a huge sterile new housing development in the town of Cirueña. All houses look the same, there are no people to be seen only sales signs for houses. Even at the golf course there is hardly a person to be seen.
At the end of Cirueña after this traffic circle we walk again on dirt roads.
The terrain is hilly and shadeless. The sun burns down and warms us a little, because the air is cold.
The stage destination Santo Domingo de la Calzada comes into sight.
Marching into St. Domingo, ...
... past the hostel to the cathedral.
Photos: Gerhard Eichinger