Today we follow the arrows on the Camino de Santiago but in reverse direction. We depart from the Pilgrim’s Refuge, and go along Cruz street, which follows the curvature that constitutes the whole village around the hillock that crowns the town. We reach and cross the Burgos road, and go further looking for an asphalt trail that begins on our right after a curve.
We arrive at the ruins of the old pilgrims’ hostel of Saint John of Acre (1185). A sign indicates the location of the hospital church. A bridge enables us to cross the AP-68. We continue along the same trail that brings us to cross a side road of the Motorway A-12 towards Navarrete. We move ahead until we find the road to Burgos, which we take to our left.
After 250 m we can leave the road and go on to an asphalt trail that runs parallel to the road and enables us to avoid the pressure of the traffic. We continue to walk parallel the road until it separates and makes us go around bordering fields. We follow the signs to Logroño. At the entrance to La Grajera Park, turn left on the dirt road: here we find a fountain and benches for a welcome rest. We move along a dirt trail that winds and brings us to the artificial lake and to the Alto de La Grajera.
A bar and restaurant serves us generously. We continue straight on in the direction from which we came, until we find a dirt trail that skirts the lake. We take the trail on our right and enjoy the view of the lake. The arrows indicating the Camino de Santiago remind us that we are going “against the tide.” We reach a road that we are going to take towards our left, but only for 100 m, as far as the next bend. At that bend, we take the road straight in front of us, which is bordered by a neat row of trees.
A bridge brings us to the other side of the road and, after a little while, it brings us to the other side of the motorway through a tunnel. On the other side we continue to our right through a park until we reach the first street “Prado Viejo”. We cross it to go straight up into San Miguel Park.
Following the signs to the park, we look for the gran Avenida de Burgos, which we take to our right, and after 2 km, that will take us in a straight line through Logroño. The name of the street changes to Calle del Marques de Murrieta, but not its direction. We go through the Gran Via de J. Carlos I and arrive at Plaza de los Alféreces Provisionales, and go down Los Portales street until we reach the cathedral of Santa Maria la Redonda (XV century), with its Baroque towers. We take Herrerias street to Travesia del Palacio street, which we take to our left. The pilgrims’ hostel is located just 100 m (200 m from the cathedral).
Albergue de peregrinos. (100 plazas). C/ Rua vieja, 32. Tel.: 941 248 686.
Albergue de Peregrinos Albas. Plaza Martínez Flamarique, 4 bajo Tel: 941 70 08 32
Albergue de Peregrinos Check in Rioja. C/ Los Baños, 2 Tel: 941 27 23 29
Albergue Logroño. C/ Capitán Gallarza, 10 Tel: 941 25 42 26
Albergue parroquial de Santiago. C/ Barriocepo, 8, 1º Tel: 941 20 95 01
Albergue Santiago Apóstol. C/ Ruavieja, 42 Tel: 941 25 69 76 / 670 993 560
Asociación Juvenil Ayedo. Plaza Alférez Provisional, 1. Tel.: 941 229 014.
Ayuntamiento . Tel.: 941 277 000
Hostel Entresueños. C/ Portales, 12 Tel: 941 271 334
Hotel La Numantina. C/ de Sagasta, 4. Tel.: 941 251 411.
Pensión El Camino. C/ Industria, 2. Tel.: 606 735 862 / 941 206 314
Taxi Navarrete. Contact name: Ángel Tel: 656 684 950
LOGROÑO: With more than 130,000 inhabitants is the capital of the Province of La Rioja. Core junction of the French Camino de Santiago (which we have been following since Navarrete) and the Camino de Santiago del Ebro (which we will follow from now on). A visit to the tourist office will provide information about all the monuments and sights we might like to visit (Edificio Escuelas Trevijano. C/Portales, 50. Tel 941 273 353). One highlight is the church of San Bartolomé (s. XII-XIII restored in the XV century) with its barrel vaulted ceiling, classic Romanesque style. The facade is Gothic and the tower is Mudejar. The church of Santa Maria del Palacio was built on the ruins of a palace donated by Alfonso VII of Castile, which is why it is called “The Imperial.” It was the first headquarters of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Castile. The main altarpiece is by Arnao of Brussels, a Spanish Renaissance sculptor. The Gothic church of Santa María de la Redonda is founded on the remains of a XII century Romanesque church and was proclaimed “co-cathedral” in 1959. Note Martin of Berriatúa’s twin towers in Baroque style which frame it. Logroño offers us the facilities of a bicycle shop, restaurants, pharmacies, health centres, supermarkets and banks.
Jesuit Fathers: In the parish of San Ignacio we find the Jesuits who work there and they will kindly stamp the credential provided we call in during parish office hours. Calle Huesca, 39 (near Duke of Najera street and Plaza del Primero de Mayo). Tel: 941 203 504.
Notes: We are still considering the presence of evil in our lives, but today in an entirely different way. We now open ourselves to the mercy of our Father. Ignatius invites us to experience the wonder to be felt when, in spite of the reality of our own sin, we come face to face with the infinite mercy of God. Today our attitude on our Walk is that of a repentant sinner, but above all of a sinner who is immensely loved.
Grace: Dear Father, I ask you for the gift of an interior, felt knowledge of my sinfulness so that I may experience also your love for me, as well as a growing desire to turn towards you and a renewed enthusiasm for following Jesus.
Reflections: You have reflected on the reality of human sin and your own sinfulness. Today you are invited to reflect on the awesome reality of God’s mercy. You are loved and forgiven, completely. “Repent and believe the Good News.” The two go hand in hand. That is, we first accept the reality of our sinfulness and repent truly that we have brought disharmony and disorder to our own life and to the world. We then believe the Good News: God is merciful, always has been and always will be. What ultimately matters is not that we are faithful to God (none of us is capable of complete fidelity) but that God is faithful to us. It is the same God who accompanies you: at your best moments, when you behave well and earn praise from all sides and at you most shameful moments, when you know there is good reason for you to be disgraced. You cannot earn God’s love, and you do not have to! God’s love is freely given, so freely given that seems impossible to us! The father in the parable, though he has every reason to be angry, harbors no resentment. His younger son has offended him and squandered what he worked so hard to accumulate, a thing we humans find almost impossible to accept. Indeed, the elder son cannot accept the forgiving attitude of the father.
In your life as sinner, you are not alone. You are forgiven. You are loved. And this is what drives us to repentance, to the desire to make amends. But we must know that we need God’s grace to repent and desire to do so: we do not know and follow the right way by our own wisdom and strength. Ask Jesus. Pray that you may be willing and able to accept fully what God offers so freely: forgiveness. We humans often go through life saddled with crippling guilt. God asks us instead to walk in freedom.
Luke 15: 11-32. This son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.
Luke 5: 17-26. When Jesus saw their faith he said (to the paralytic), “Your sins are forgiven.”
John 8: 2-11. And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and do not sin again.”
Romans 5: 1-8. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
Final Colloquy: I talk to Jesus as one friend does to another, experiencing with growing feeling the wonder of being alive at this moment, and feeling that I live in a world that is called to be saved by the love of God. I contemplate its creation and history. Then, after meditating on the destruction of sin, I speak with Jesus about the grace of the forgiveness I have received. It is a dialogue about mercy, in which I reflect and give thanks to God our Lord, because has given me life until now, and I propose with His grace to amend my life from now on. To conclude, I say a heartfelt Our Father.