Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 9: Logroño

Today, I stay for a day in Logroño. I am looking forward to to my sister's arrival and this rest day. I hope my ankle bruise gets better so I can wear my boots again the rest of the way.

I sit a bit at the Check-in hostel lounge after all the pilgrims have left at 8 am.  The hospitaleros are cleaning up, but they are very nice and let me stay on.  At 10 am, I have to go as they close up the place and open again at 1300 when they expect the first pilgrims to arrive. At these places, whether the municipal public or private pilgrim houses, beds are reserved for Camino pilgrims. One needs to show their credencial and have this pilgrim passport stamped and dated. One can only stay a night and needs to move on the next day, usually by 8 am,  with the exception only when one is hurt or sick and cannot walk on.  So far, they have cost from as low as 5 euros per night for the municipal pilgrim houses to as much as 15 euros for the private ones. All of them have common sleeping areas with bunk beds -- one had even a triple layer.  Snores or smells are part of the pilgrim experience.

Sometimes, when we stop to think of how it must have been for the pilgrims of yore, we are thankful for all the conveniences we now enjoy. Such as wifi, for example, which allows me to tell realtime about my experiences.  All of them are generally clean and the hospitaleros, as they call the people taking care of the pilgrim houses, some voluntarily, are very kind and helpful.

It is raining in the morning and cold but the sun comes out at 10 am as I leave the pilgrim hostel.  I pass an open church, the Iglesia de San Bartolome where I say a rosary, something I have been in the habit of doing these past few days on the Way.

Several times, I have been asked by other pilgrims why I am here and I answer that I do not know. When I ask them back, they say the same thing. But we are one in believing that it will be revealed to us on the way. Or if not, we will discover things about ourselves we have not known before. For now, we all walk towards our goal -- Santiago de Compostela.

Tapas are terrific! Calle San Juan has so many of them. Had a hard time choosing. At 1 pm, they are all pretty full with people standing at the counter, drinking wine or beer and having tapas.  I think this is what Spanish people usually have for lunch.  I have a callos tapa for lunch -- the waiter makes sure I know what I am asking for and queries -- tripas de cordero? (tripe of sheep?)  Si, I answer. Callos reminds me of home. My Mom makes great callos.  It is a Spanish dish which we have adapted in the Philippines.

My sister finally arrives at 4:30 pm at our pre-planned meeting place, the Hostel Estresueños, a hostel in the center of town, where we already booked a twin room.  She walked from the bus station and is starving.  We leave her stuff and directly go for some tapas and calamares.  We also walk around Logroño.

Later at 9 pm, we go to the easter vigil, a mass at the Iglesia San Bartolome -- a beautiful Romanesque structure.

Stamps on my credencial or pilgrim passport
Lunch hour at a bar at Calle San Juan
A serving of callos -- We usually have it as a main dish in the Philippines, with rice

Street musician playing Vivaldi's The Four Seasons -- lovely!
Logroño Cathedral
Logrono bridge
More tapas

Iglesia San Bartolome, Logroño

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