I was early at the bus stop because I did not know the meaning of Laboralles on the timetable. The two early buses were Laboralles. I asked around and I think it means work day bus (not Sunday). The bus came and yes, I could take it to Logroño it stopped at most villages along the way and, at times, traveled beside the camino.
Outside Logroño city limits I spotted Veronica walking at a fast pace. I sent her a text, just passed you. On arrival I bought my ticket for Bilbao the next day, €12.50, the bus departs at 11:00. There seems to be a bus every hour to Bilbao which is good to know for when I return next year. There is also a bus to Santo Domingo de la Calzada another of my options.
I could not find my way, I was lost, no arrows. I headed toward Centro de Ciudad (City Center). Veronica sent me an SMS and she was lost. We were both heading to the cathedral knowing the Pensions and Hostals were close to the cathedral. It was hot and my blister was hurting even though I was in sandals. I do not like walking with my backpack when wearing sandals, I prefer to have the ankle support of boots. Then suddenly I saw one of the hostals I was headed for, Hostal Numi. Veronica found the Pension, we were only about a block from each other.
I off-loaded my pack and went to the cathedral. Santiago (Saint James) is not on display anywhere within Logroño cathedral, this is unusual along the camino. I went to Taberna de Portales in front of the cathedral for lunch and was joined by Veronica. We had Tapas, vino y café con leche. Shock horror, Veronica is allergic to shrimp, she had ordered the same meat Tapas that I had but the woman bought her shrimp instead. One bite, that was it, we exchanged plates and hope Veronica does not have a reaction.
Then we went to the Oficina de Turismo (Tourist Office) for our Logroño stamp and Veronica needed another crendencial (pilgrim passport) to continue on through France. The tourist office does issue credencials so she had to go to the Oficina de Peregrinos (Pilgrim Office) about 300 mts over the bridge. Veronica told me later that it was way further than 300 mts.
It is funny how when swapping stories the other person can tell another view. I told Veronica about the little boy twirling his stick and singing along the camino and what a delightful memory that was. Veronica said, "that little boy was a horror at the albergue in Grañon the other night". Apparently he has a medical problem. At dinner he was hand-flapping and loudly demanding pasta and screaming but when given the pasta he did not eat one bite. He touched all the bread on the table and only ate bread, one bite each piece. The man in front of the mother and child is not the father but an Irish man that the boy has attached to. I will keep my memory of a delightful child since I did not witness the other little boy.
For dinner Veronica has suggested a The Drunken Duck - an Irish Pub that she passed on her walk into Logroño. We will meet at seven. I went shopping and bought some camino pens for gifts and of course one for myself. They are fun and cute. In León I did not buy the NO PAIN, NO GAIN postcard and have looked for it since and not seen it. Oh well.
black bull of Spain. This photograph taken from the bus.
When I arrived in Bilbao I went to Casco antiguo de la ciudad (the old town). I tried many hotels but all were completo (no vacancies). It seems there is a three day conference starting tomorrow and Queen Sofía will be in Bilbao. One receptionist told me that I might not be able to get a room in the city. The next hotel (Hotel Arriaga) had a room, I was relieved.
Puppy, Jeff Koons 1992 - the floral sculpture of a West Highland Terrier was first presented at a temporary exhibit in Germany. From the photos that I had seen I thought this was a cat until visiting the museum.
Rolf and I go to Cologne by train because it is easier than going by car. By car we would have to park a distance away yet the cathedral is at the train station, it couldn't be any closer. One of the things I love about Europe is the ease of taking trains, anywhere, we could learn from the Europeans in the USA.
Rolf was not well today and I was happy simply visiting him. Christine thought it would do Rolf good to get out in the sunshine and walk around so we went to Öberhausen. The Mall is closed. The outdoor restaurants are open and people are sitting in the sun enjoying the day. They told me that people come from The Netherlands and places around the area to visit Öberhausen on the weekends.
Joelette along various sections of the camino. This lady can walk, fast and well, I eat her dust.
In Villafranca Montes de Oca I was given a gourd signed by a multiple pilgrim, Para Luiza a peregrina mayor el Camino de Santiago 22/09/2011. When I told Veronica she gave me this smile then blew me a raspberry. However, she knows that I admire her and think of her as the REAL peregrina mayor.
I am now in Duisburg, Germany with Christine and Rolf. Some of you will remember that I dedicated my Via de la Plata camino (Seville to SdC) to Rolf. Fighting the BIG fight, he drove from Germany to Santiago to greet me when I walked in. However he could not wait .... and walked toward me as I was coming into Pedrouza. What a wonderful moment that was for us. This year when I called him from Santiago he asked if I could visit him after this camino, of course my immediate response was YES.