Puente la Reina

Bert and Betty wanted to take us out for a few hours, to go replenish the wine supply, and to see a little of historic Puente la Reina, a very old Spanish town where two rivers come together, flowing under an original Roman built bridge.  But first, as we do every morning, there was a devotional time.  This time up on the rooftop patio to enjoy the sunshine and the view.

The devotional times have been sweet, and I look forward to them each day.  Many pilgrims come hurting, either physically or emotionally/spiritually (or both), and it is such a privilege to meet these precious people and to be able to encourage them, pray for them, and just serve them.  Our family style dinners are always so much fun as everyone visits and shares their stories of how they came to be on the Camino.  We have had families with young children as well as pilgrims in their eighties.  After dinner at night we offer a “Christian meditation” time, which many elect to participate in.  It lasts about a half hour, with mostly no talking while listening to some nice instrumental music, and we take turns leading it, speaking a few short verses out of the bible, and praying a blessing on the pilgrims.  Many share with us what a blessing our albergue has been for them.

Walking the narrow streets of Puente las Reina

Inside the 12th century cathedral in Puente la Reina during mass.

A view of the bridge, still used and in excellent condition, while local fishermen work on catching dinner.

Then, on to the Irache winery, also the site of a very old church and monastery.

Tour guide Betty telling it like it is to Julee…

Meanwhile, we are getting our half dozen 5 litre wine bottles filled, straight from the tank.  The very decent wine is sold in bulk like this for 87 cents a litre, but Irache gives us a 10% discount…

The camino trail goes right by the winery, and there is a fountain for the pilgrims built into the wall.  The spigot on the right provides fresh water, the one on the left provides wine!  Notice the bandages on this pilgrims leg.  This is early on in the camino, and after 3 or 4 days, it seems like most people are fighting blisters, swollen knees, bad ankles, and just stiff muscles from carrying backpacks they are not used to.  Word of advice to those of you considering the camino:  START SLOW!!!

Beautiful architecture at the old monastery… Is all of Spain as incredible as the parts we have been in?  Maybe my new favorite european country…

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3 Responses to Puente la Reina

  1. carly says:

    wow, so beautiful!!! love the image of the bridge. and i love the wine fountain!

  2. Melody Cahill says:

    Gotta Love Spain with their complimentary wine! I recall that we missionaries had a favorite Chinese restaurant in Torrejon de Ardoz. An amazing meal could be had for around $3.00 US, wine was included with the meal and water was an extra fee. And YES, Artie – ALL of Spain is spectacular! My experiences were limited to about a 30mile radius around Madrid, but your photos have confirmed my suspicion that the entire country is remarkable!

  3. Joel says:

    Good stuff!

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