Friday, July 25, 2014

Onward and upward--well, onward, anyway

Hello, everyone.
As you probably remember, the last installment of our Camino tale had us arriving at Los Arcos.

When we woke up in Los Arcos, I put the very last bandages on my feet. The blister care situation was desperate! And it was 6 in the morning, we had to be gone by 8, and the chance a pharmacy would be open before 9 or 9:30 was nil. We had to decide what to do--walk the whole way to Logrono, about 18 miles, with no replacement bandages on hand? Wait around in Los Arcos for a pharmacy to open? Split the difference somehow? We were milling around the streets of Los Arcos and bumped into the bus stop--which had a chart of stop times and destinations. Also a small group of fellow pilgrims who had decided to give their injured knees a break by riding to Logrono.

We pulled our map out and looked--Viana has over 3,000 residents, according to the map. We figured that there would be a pharmacy there. And the bus be stopping in Los Arcos at about 8:20--earlier than any pharmacy would open. We elected to ride to Viana. This cut off some 15 km from the day's walk, and got us into Viana just in time for the pharmacies to open. We would walk from Viana to Logrono, about 7 km, and call it a light day for the feet.
The bus fare to Viana was 1,95 euro per person. The seats were comfortable and we got to see much of what we would have been walking through on the way as it went up and down a series of hills, past the Camino trail now and again, past vineyards to the little stop in the middle of the village.

Viana has sights to see: a really pretty church and the grave of Cesare Borgia. (Younger daughter had gotten my sweetie started watching the Netflix historical drama about the Borgias. My sweetie was very interested in seeing the grave.)
The story goes that Cesare, who was leading the defense of the besieged city, heard the enemy getting an attack together. He was unable to get the men of the forces in the city to go with him to defend the gate. (Guess his influence as commander had faded a bit.) So he went out there in the dark by himself. It is said that the attacking commander said "who is that madman?" At any rate, in the morning the body of Cesare Borgia was found, bearing 25 wounds from the fight.
The grave is in the courtyard outside of the Iglesia Santa Maria, a cathedral-styled church.
This is an eloquent Renaissance ensemble depicting the Crucifixion. You can see Longinus, the centurion, with his spear. Below the Crucifixion scene is a Nativity scene, but I'm not sure if it's the shepherds or the magi paying respects to the Baby Jesus in His mother's lap. Above the Crucifixion scene is a depiction of Mary with angels holding her crown above her head. At the very top, I think, is God the Father looking down. The interior of the church is also beautiful. I thought I'd put up a view of the vaulting instead of yet another retablo.
Vaulting of Iglesia Santa Maria in Viana, La Rioja, Spain