Plaza de Barcelona

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1 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    In Almeria

    April 12, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    The flights were all fine but i didn’t sleep. So I’m really glad I could get a few hours shuteye in the Madrid airport in the Iberia lounge’s sleeping room. A row of comfortable partitioned beds, very comfy. Much appreciated, maybe even more than the excellent coffee!

    I met another peregrino on the flight to Almeria. When we got to town we headed straight for the cathedral where we got our first stamp. And then Joe found the first arrow and hit the road. He’s walking 15 k to Rioja. I was tempted but there are people coming in for a get together tomorrow and I don’t want to miss it.

    So I climbed up and around the 9-10 C moorish castle, explored the old town a bit and at 6 pm met up with Clare. We spent more than an hour getting cards for our phones. It was complicated, but I now have a Spanish phone number. By then i was starting to fade, so I headed back to my little basic pension and picked up a takeout salad that looks pretty good. And as soon as I eat it, I will hit the hay. Not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow, except that I know that I will be joining with about 6 others who are arriving to walk. We are going to have a tour of some underground shelters built here during the Spanish Civil War.
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  • Day7

    Civil War Shelters

    April 14, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

    The Spanish Civil War is one of those wars that is wrapped in mystique — it is still the subject of public debate, and a lot of its wounds are still close to the surface. As the last city in Spain to surrender (two days before the end of the Civil War), Almeria has monuments to the resistance in several places.

    Almería has a 4 km web of bomb shelters built after the Germans bombed Almeria in 1937 in retaliation for the Republicans attack on a German warship that was on the mediterranean coast. The town mobilized and built these underground shelters (500 workers and thousands of local volunteers over 14 months). They had been closed off until a few years ago. The regional government has opened them for visits.

    A member of our Mozárabe group who lives in Spain was kind enough to buy us tickets ahead of time. These tours routinely sell out, and now that I’ve been through I understand why.

    It was fascinating —a video explaining the history and with interviews of survivors, followed by a tour through the underground tunnels. More than 30,000 routinely took shelter there, and as you might imagine the memories of the survivors were still vivid. The hospital room was still in tact, and the guide told us that fortunately that room’s primary function turned out to be to deliver babies of the many women who went into labor during the bombings. Graffiti on the walls is preserved, and the entrances to the shelters remain hidden in kiosks up and down one of the main avenues.

    Enough history for now, I’m off to walk!!!
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  • Day6

    Warm-up day to Rioja

    April 13, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    After an interrupted 11hours of sound sleep, and upon some sensible reflection, I decided it would be really silly to walk 38 km on my first day. I enjoy those distances, but probably not on the first day. So I decided to walk 15 km out to a little town on the Camino and take a bus back to Almeria. Then tomorrow, it will only be 23 km to the albergue in Alboloduy.

    So at a little after 9, I went down to the cathedral to start walking. There I met Nina, another peregrina, from Denmark. She will start tomorrow. On the way out of town, I met Veronica, a member of the local association, with whom I have corresponded. She was waiting at a bus stop to take her daughter to the doctor. Magical encounters like this abound on the camino.

    The walk today was a typical first day walk out of a city. Lots of asphalt, through commercial areas, until about halfway. Then the arrows (which are excellent by the way) then took me to a stony dry riverbed. Not exactly a scenic highlight but it took me to Rioja and the bus stop. Santiago must have been looking out for me because a bus back to Almeria arrived exactly four minutes later.

    After another visit to the castle with my Norte pals, we Took a tour of the Civil War shelters. That was really something. In a span of 14 months,500 Almeria citizens built 4 km of tunnels,where more than 30,000 people could go to escape the Nazi and Franco army bombings. Almería was the last province to surrender to Franco, and today it is certainly a badge of honor.

    Then a great meet up with the Mozárabe folks anda bunch of wonderful folks I had never met in person, a few wines in a bar, and we are ready to go tomorrow!
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Plaza de Barcelona

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