Day 26 GR1 to Roda de Isabena

Roda de Isabena isn't on the GR1 Sendero Historico so today was a Juan Holgado variant and well worth it too. The little hill top town hosts one of the first Romanesque cathedrals in Spain and given that the theme of this trip seems to be stunning hill top towns it would be a crime to miss it. We will be back on the straight and narrow tomorrow.
Roda de Isabena
It rained heavily all night but the weather this morning was bright and fresh, Christine's run of good continues but the odds look stacked against her for tomorrow. We left Graus via a taxi and started our walk from the little village of El Sofer. The views were wonderful with fresh snow on the mountains in the distance.
Dozens of griffons
Perhaps the dominant feature was a beautiful set of red cliffs to the north west - the Morrón de Güell. As we approached them the sky literally filled with griffon vultures - dozens of them swirling above our heads- Spain really is the vulture capital of Europe.

Ermita de la Virgen de las Rocas
The first objective for the walk was the little church, the Ermita de la Virgen de las Rocas set high up under the lee of the cliffs. We dumped our bags under some bushes and for a time it looked like we were going to share our trip with a group of elderly Catalans who had come up the track in cars, but the muddy trail put them off. Like the church at Grustán yesterday the Ermita was built on the border between Moorish and non-Moorish Spain with the original parts of the structure dating back to the 10th Century. Fantastic views in all directions and well worth the climb.
Morrón de Güell
After picking up our bags, which somehow had got heavier, we set off towards Roda de Isabena. Interesting route which involved crossing a series of gullies apparently carved out of an ancient river delta formed from sediments eroded from the Pyrenees. Very interesting to amateur pontificating geologists like Christine and me. The views back to the Morrón de Güell were amazing.
Cloisters to the catherdral
The deepest gully was the one immediately in front of Roda de Isabena - nice walk down but a tough walk up, particularly after we lost the trail and had to do a bit of scrambling. Christine was determined to get there as quickly as she could preferring a late lunch to a late dinner and for once she didn't slow down in the afternoon.

Staying at the Hospederia, which I think is owned by the Aragon government, very nice, and the hotel restaurant turned out to be part of the cathedral. Lovely food.

Had a trip round the cathedral later in the afternoon, very interesting. We heard about Eric the Belgium who about 20 years or so ago stole the cathedral's most precious piece of furniture, a ninth century boxwood chair, and in the process broke it into small bits. Eric is a famous Belgium in these parts.
Streets in Roda de Isabena
After the Cathedral tour, Juan tried to persuade us to walk down the hill to look at an ancient bridge. We declined saying we could imagine what it looked like. Sorry Juan but after a lunch like that there is only so much sight seeing you can do.

If you want to see where we went today on a map then please go to the following link

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

No comments:

Post a Comment