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The small town of Calzada is located on a (in summer puny = hardly any water) river called Oja.

The whole region has its name after this river
Rio Oja = Rioja

It is about 20 km to Belorado, again a town rich in history. During the Reconquista, a castle was built on a hill near the town. The population, which had originally settled closer to the river, then moved to the protection of the fortifications. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, called "El Cid", received this castle from Ferdinand I, the first Castilian king, as a wedding gift for his marriage to Jimena Díaz.

In the 10th century, Fernán González, the first independent count of the County of Castile, thanked the town for its help in his liberation from Navarrese captivity by granting it the right to hold a market on Mondays. This custom has survived to the present day and enlivens the Plaza Mayor in Belorado at the beginning of the week.

Next to the Santa Maria church is the hostel run by the Swiss association "Friends of the Way of St. James". Here you also understand Swiss German!

Belorado main square

Here we are at the main square of Belorado.

Belorado church and hostel

The Santa Maria church with the pilgrims hostel

Storks nesting on the tower of the Santa Maria Church.

From the hill behind the church, where the ruins of the former castle are located, you have an interesting view of the city.


hostel in the garage

When we arrived there by bike, all the places in the hostel were occupied. We were accommodated in the associated alternative accommodation - in a former garage.

There was a real bed with a mattress and even a pillow - what a luxury. I slept wonderfully. Whether snoring was around - quite possible - I do not know.

I published the whole story in an article in the magazine Ultreïa.

Photos: Gerhard Eichinger