The main purpose for my trip to Zaragoza was to follow Denmark in the World Cup in men's handball, and in the Pabellón Príncipe Felipe sports arena I watched the 1/8-finals between Denmark and Tunisia – and the match between Brazil and Russia.
Pabellón Príncipe Felipe was built in 1990, and has a capacity of 10,744 spectators. It is primarily used for basketball and handball - and is the home arena of CAI Zaragoza (basketball) and BM Aragón (handball), but has also been used for the FIBA Champions Cup Final Fours in 1990 and 1995, and other big sports events and concerts.
OK place; easy access to and from the arena, good seats, and a few refreshments stalls.
Alas, this was our last day of this Camino (But we have already decided that we are going to head back to Zaragoza and continue from Zaragoza on the “Ruta del Ebro” to Logrono as soon as we can ;-)
The last day was meant to be 13k, again this according to Mundicamino but we both thought it was a little longer at maybe 15k.
A Very Nice days walking with a handy coffee stop about half way at Cartuja Baja.
The route was mainly on dirt tracks and often either alongside or within sight of the Rio Ebro – a Very Pleasant final days walking
This was our penultimate day and according to Mundicamino this should have been a 19k day and I would say that was about right.
The route took us along quiet roads and paths with a nice stop after 7k at Fuentes de Ebro for an early lunch before walking the remaining 12k to Burgo de Ebro.
Unfortunately we somehow lost the route leaving Fuentes de Ebro so just made our own way to Burgo de Ebro
Yet another pleasant days walking and nice to have a shorter day after the long one the day before !!
According to Mundicamino this should have been a 34k day with nothing in-between Bujaraloz and Pina de Ebro. Buth we both agreed that the actual distance was much further and think that 38k is still a conservative estimate.
The route is slightly mainly on dirt tracks, the first half never straying too far away from the A2, This proved to be very handy as there were in fact two roadside restaurants en-route, one about 8k after Bujaraloz and another about 10k on from that at Paso de Ganado.
A Very Long days walking but never-the-less quite an enjoyable one
According to Mundicamino this was about 20k which felt about right, a lovely days walking with one small town half way, Penalba, so an ideal lunch stop.
Another undulating day, mainly on dirt tracks never straying too far away from the A2
Unfortunately Frago was a far as out Excellent Guidebook took us so we were now entirely reliant on the way markings backed up by strip maps printed off Mundicamino.
According to this we had about 24k’s walking but it seamed a little longer, Leaving Fraga we had quite a hill to climb but once we had done this the route undulated slightly and never straying too far from the A2 which proved to be quite handy as there was a garage selling cold drinks which we made good use of.
The landscape changed with things become far more arid and a pleasant days walking.
This was a fairly long day at 33.2k so we had an early start and ended up missing a way-marker so were slightly off route leaving Lleida, however we soon picked up the “Way” again at Butsenit. From there the route continues to Alcarras on a mixture of minor roads and paths, then on, up and over to Barrio de Litera, and another up and over into Frago.
Another pleasant if slightly long days walking with choices of coffee and lunch stops
Alas this was Birgit’s last day, we had deliberately planned a short day of 15k to allow us time to explore Lleida and as it is a very interesting city with a Wonderful Citadel we were very pleased we had allowed time for this.
The route undulates and weaves its way into Lleida on a series of minor roads and dirt tracks, no villages en-route but we did find a café open for a late breakfast in an industrial zone on the outskirts of the town.
A pleasant enough days walking but the highlight was definitely Lleida and its ancient Citadel
The route continues on through fairly flat agricultural land, mainly on minor roads and only passing through one village, el Palau d’Anglesola, this after 8k so making it a handy early lunch stop.
Total disatnce for the day 17.5k and a very pleasant days walking
Another wonderful days walking, mainly on minor roads through agricultural land and predominantly flat.
Choices of coffee stops for the first 5k and then nothing for the next 10k so be prepared for that ;-)
As mentioned in my introduction, Castellnou de Seana was probably our most favourite place of the entire Camino, When we arrived we weren’t sure where the Refugio was so popped into “The Bar Modern” for a much needed beer and the welcome that we received there was Astounding, When the realised that we were Perigrino’s they phoned the guy who held the key for the Refugio and he came in his van and took our rucksacks down there for us. “The Bar Modern” doesn’t usually cook evening meals but they happily made an exception for us and cooked us a wonderful meal at a very reasonable price – If you happen to walk this route make sure that you fill in the “Guest-book” and read the previous comments – This is also kept at “The Bar Modern”
One funny incident was that when we got back to the Refugio we couldn’t get the key to open the door – No it wasn’t because we were drunk, it just wouldn’t work, but one of the guys, I think the son of the owner of “The Bar Modern” came to our rescue and managed to get the door open
Castellnou de Seana is a Very Perigrino Friendly town and definitely shouldn’t be missed !!!!
As we had shortened the previous day this was now a 25.6k day, another Very Pleasant days walking and predominantly downhill, mainly on minor roads but with some paths until Cervera and then on dirt tracks for there.
Lots of small towns / villages en-route so plenty of opportunities for coffees and lunch.
As I mentioned in my introduction page, we had originally planned to walk 29.4k to Cervera this day but we followed some yellow arrows which took us off the planned route, This added around 5k to what was already going to be a long day so when we arrived in La Panadella it was already early afternoon so we all thought rather than to flog on to Cervera that we would stay here (On our original plan we were going to have a short day the day after so by staying in La Panadella it split the days up more evenly)
The route was predominantly uphill, again on minor roads and pleasant paths so an enjoyable day of around 20k
This was originally going to be a 22k day but we then had to add on the 3k from El Broc back to Sant Pau de la Guardia so that made it 25k
The route took us on a mixture of minor roads and paths, predominantly downhill through the towns of Castelloli and Igualada, so plenty of choices for coffee / lunch and a very pleasant days walking
The original plan was to depart from Barcelona by train, Then allow sufficient time for Sightseeing at Montserrat before starting the 11.2k walk to Sant Pau de la Guardia.
All went well until we arrived at Sant Pau de la Guardia to find that the only accommodation available there, a Private Albergue was closed (For anyone planning to do this route in the future you may like to note that this Albergue is always closed on Sundays !!)
Leaving Montserrat (April 2011) we were advised not to try and follow the original path as there had been some landslides, so we heeded this advice and followed the minor road (BP-1103) for approximately 9k (This is also signed with the yellow arrows) until just after a road junction with an old house on the corner which is almost covered with foliage (See Photo) where there is a signpost directing you off to the right. From here the path takes you up and over a small col before descending into Sant Pau de la Guardia.
As I have already mentioned, we found the only accommodation there to be closed so after making enquiries found the nearest place to stay was going to be at El Bruc which was about 3k back up the road in the direction we had just come from.
Pleasant few hours walking along mainly very quiet roads with excellent views looking back over Montserrat.